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EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH, 

SEC01Sri> SERIES. 

SKETCHES 

on 
PERSONS, LOCALITIES 

AND 

INCIDENTS OE TWO CENTURIES 

PBIXCIPALLY mOM TEADITION AM) CKPt'BLIgHED DOCUMEKTB. 



IBy Charles "W. Brewster. 
\ 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE iiUTHOX 

BY \VM. n, Y. HACEETT. 



PORTSMOUTH, N. H. 

TRINTED AKD I'lBLISHRD BY LEWIS W. BREVVSTKP, 
rclrlsjno'ilh Joiirnil Oftcf. 



k-x. 



Entered accoriiing to Act of Congress, in the yeaf 1869, ty 

LEWIS W. RREWSTER, 

In tbe Clerk's Office d( the District Court of the District of New-Hampsbire. 



>y 



I>I?,Eir'^CE- 



The compilation of tliis Second Series of the Rambles Aboct Poktsmocth was mostly 
the worlc of the author, as is stated in the biographical sketch by Hon. Wm. H. Y. 
Hackett, his life-long friend, that composes the first chapter. Slight changes in the text 
and arrangement were, however, left to the discretion of the editor, who has endeavored to 
adhere as closely as possible to the original details of the work, studying in all particulars 
to give them in accordance with the judgment and taste of the writer. 

The plan of the Second Series is in all respects similar to that of the First. Gratified 
by its kind reception, the author continued his Kambles until the closing days of his life 
with little if any change in their character. In the Portsmouth Journal, his newspaper, 
in which they first appeared, apt writings of others were adopted as part of his series. In 
this book credit is due to Mr. John Henry Bowles, of Brooklyn, N. Y. (the Journal's corres- 
pendent "E'c-'s'-j jn whole or in part for Rambles 85, 96, 113, 126, 131, 132, 140 and 141, 
Others of his interesting productions are omitted for want of room. 

LEWIS W. BREWSTER, 

PCBTBMOUTH, N. H., Nov. 1, 1£69. 



COIN'TEINrTS 



RAMBLE. PAGE. 

Biographical SIcetch of the Author. 9 

84. Site and Associations of the New City Rooms — Brick Market and Jefferson Ilall. 2:? 

85. Odiorne's Point — The First House and First Cemetery in New Hampshire 36 

8(5. Marquis de Chastellux's Visit in 1782 — French Fleet— Views of Portsmouth, &,c 3S 

87. Sketch of Henry Sherburne and Descendants 4i 

83. Langdon and Sherburne Families 53 

89. Lafayette Road— Langdon Farm— Family Monument— New Rank of American 

Nobility 58 

90. Atkinson's Silver Waiter— The Record of Deaths in Portsmouth— Lady Went- 

worth's Picture, Ac C2 

92. Theodore Atkinson's Estate — Will of Susanna, widow of George Atkinson 75 

93. Peter Livius the Loj-alist — Building of the North Bridge and Mill— Chief Justice 

of Quebec— His efforts to win Gen. Sullivan to the British Cause 78 

94. Legislation in Portsmouth in 1699— First Prison — Mark Noble 83 

95. The Old Stavers Hotel— The Party— The Daniel Street Apparition— The Dance— 

A Fragrant Interruption 86 

96. Sketches from an ancient copy of the N. H. Gazette 00 

97. Christian Shore— Freeman's Point— The Ham House — Tlie Waterhouse Family 95 

98. The Pickering Family 103 

99. Pickering House in Vaughan Street— Edward Hart — Gen. Peaboily's Perfidy— Capt. 

CuUam, Ac 106 

100. More of Pickering's History— CoL Atkinson — Woodbury Langdon — Revolutionary 

Incidents Ill 

101. Things of 1790 to 1800— Old School Gentlemen— Respect by Youth— Minor Offen- 

ces — Prompt Punishment of Criminals — Justice iPenhallow's Impartiality — 
First Pavement — Buck-Street Promenade — North and Soulhenders — Smoking 
not Allowed— Edward Hart elected Police Officer — His Success, and what pro- 
duced it 117 

102. The Hart Family— Quint and the Wolf. 123 

103. The Sheafe Family ; 120 

104. James Sheafe -Jay's Treaty— The EffigioB— The Riot— The Arrest— The Trium- t 

phal Procession, <fec 133 

105. Insurrection in New Hampshire, 1786 138 

106. The Cutts Family 143 

107. Residence of Richard Cutts— Capt. Thomas Leigh's Sea Adventure— William 

Bennett, the Hostage— His Fate 147 

108. The Cutts and Penhallow Cemetery on Green Street 151 

109. The Residence of Dea, Samuel Penhallow 153 

110. The Old Clock— The Four George Jaffreys— The Jaffrey House 156 

111. Rev. Samuel McCIintock, 160 

1 12. Sketch of Newcastle 166 

113. Newcastle Reminisences of Forty-Five Years Ago 174 

114. The Court Martial at Fort Constitution in 1814— The Providential Witness 177 

115. Fort Constitution— The Explosion in 1809 18i 

116. The Sparhawk Family 185 

117. Centennial Celebration, 1823— The Parchment Unrolled 188 

118.' The Yellow Fever of 1798 lO'i 

119. Old Land Proprietors— The March Farm— The Family 193 

120. Incendiary Sketches— Pilgrim Day— The Great Fire of 1813— The Incendiary 201 

121. Central Portsmouth previous to the Great Fire— Portsmouth Pier— New-Hamp- 

fhlre Hotel— Jacob Sheafe's — Daniel Webster's— North side of Buck Street— 
The Haunted House 207 



CONTENTS. 



ItAMELE. PAGE. 

1J2. Central Portsmouth before the Great Fire— Kicholas Eoiisselet— The MiiFei-.ni— 

Sailor Anecdote, Ac 214 

123. Central rortsmoiith before the Great Fire — Nicholas Roneselet's Courtship — The 
eocMiiric .losiah Shackford— His UnpnralIeUed Feat of crossing the Atlantic 
alone— The Founder of Portsmouth, Ohio 218 

124 Central Portsmouth before the Fire of 1813— North Side of Buck Street 223 

12j. Central Portsmouth before the Fire of 1813.— James Sheafe's Residence — Abrar 

ham Isaac, the Jew— Jonathan M. Sewell, the I'oet 229 

126. Central Portsmouth before the Fire of 1813. — Stories of Escapes, Rescues, Ac-. . . 233 

127. Btnte Street in 1703— Drown Family— Dr. Lyman Spalding— Capt. Peter Coues — 

Samuel E. Coues 239 

123. Seizure of Arms and Powder at Fort 'William and JMary— The finale of Provincial 

Government in New Hampshire 218 

129. The Navy Yard 254 

130. Capt. Daniel Fernald—ReBidenne— Ownership of the Navy Yard— War Adven- 

tures—Diddling the Spencer 74— Putting a British Frigate on the rocks 258 

131. Shapley's Island— Small Pox Parties— Incidents and Pastimes 203 

132. The Old Spring Market— The Neptune and River Nymphs of the Piscataqua. . . . 270 

133. A step over the River— The Celebrities of Kittery in former days — The Spinney 

Family 2S2 

134. Our Wharves— Privateering—The Portsmouth Record 285 

135. Our Wharves— West-India Trade— Capt. Gilman— Admiral Nelson— Emperor of 

Russia. &c 290 

136. The Old Welch House on Bridge Street— Johnny Cunningham 294 

137. John Simes and his Descendants 290 

138. Toppin Maxwell—" Commodore " Mifflin 298 

139. My Brother Bob 307 

140. The Brick School House in State-Street— Teachers, former and recent— School 

Dramatic Exhibitions— Struck by Lightning 31G 

141. School-House Hill— School Books— Amusements— Slides— Mrs. Maloon's Shop— 

The Catastrophe- Parson Walton's Meeting-House— Services- The Beloved 
Disciple , ■■ 326 

142. TheOIdSouth Church 332 

143. The Old Bell Tavern 339 

144. Witchcraa in Portsmouth and Newcastle— Death of Molly Bridget— Stone Throw- 

ing Devils ot Newcastle 343 

145. The Former Men of Portsmouth— Ancient Furniture 354 

146. The Episcopal Church Yard 35t) 

147. The Oldest House in our State 853 

148. The Dead Elm on South Road .' 360 

363 



149. Fifty Years in a Printing Oface— Our Own and the World's Progress. 



IN3DEX OF :]SrA.]MES 



All the names used in the Rambles aro intended to be printed in this index, except the 
following lists : 
For those engaged in the Centennial Celebration, 1823, seepages 139 and 190. 
For list of Master Taft's ?>cholars, see pages 319 and 320. 
For list of " The former men of Portsmouth," see page 355. 

Abbott. 71 240;329 3G5 

AbercroDibie, 124 

Adams, 24 72 92 101 202 

230 304 320 33j 352 

354 366 871 374 
Akernian, 15 224 3-13 365 
Alberiz, J84 



Alden, 174 351 354 
Alleo. 66 128 161 
Amazeen, 317 352 353 
Aodrev i. 227 
An l! OSS, 56 
Anil able, 79 
.jipplcun, 63 77 IS5 1S3 



Arnold, 94 I Badffer, 113 

Arundel, 55 Bailey, 173 to 1S2 367 

Atkinson, 49 50 62 77 112i Biinbrid^e, 32a 

185 191,219 253 357 Kainprylde, .16 

Audubon, 10 Bincrofl, 353 

Austin, 90 tianfield, 58 la 60 

Aycra, 201 I Bar! er, 353 



iKDEJt; 



fiirefnni, Jil 352 

Birnu BCG 

Baruuiii. S>4 

barnl 1,49 37 60 263 

b:iri7, 2.-0 

Hirsa .lee. 280 

i;ass, 50 22j 

liarileli, II 12 16 31 182 M 

see 

Deck, 224 

Helclier, 60 125 144 S62 
Britour, 179 
Belkna)!, Ill 
Bell, 171 223 3D6 
llellmint. M 
Beautlt. 14b to 150 
Berry, 196 
Eerthier, 92 
Bcrtiiullel, m 
Biilenhani. 223 
Biieluw. 93 
Billiujs. 27 367 
Bcr^, 40 41 
B shop 3o6 
Klaisdell, 77 240 270 
B.ay 302 
Muni, 110 242 
Jiol.i, 45 
B'liiapar'e, 92 371 



B) 



,351 



.. rland, 144 

E'Tlliwick 59 

Biurne. 320 

Bo.vles.27 90 93 136 233 263 

277 316 •Ml 367 
I) .vd. 137 21*5 

JiraL-kell, 42 44 105 195 1S6 
Brail. V, 115 
Br.y 69 71 73 
Bre'vs^er, 9 to 21 52 60 99 

100 109 201 341. 33-1 

366 
B-iar, 146 
Brhrii. 201 
B.'idiel, 344 
Briefly. W 
Bruivn, 49 159 250 286 287 

335 341 35S 367 
Bruce, 230 
Bruuiuicl, 256 
Biiclian.io 371 
Ji-icuminisier, 39 195 259 31S 

3€fi 
Bur'oyne. S2 163 
Burke, 114 
Buruet 362 
I'urr, 161 

Burroughs, II 358 30* 
Built-r, 45 143 
tall, 153 294 366 
( amubell, 324 
Carr, 2t6 
Carter, 32 271 
Caswell, 339 
CiNdb-.iirne 224 
Chidwick 341 
I haniberlajn, 105 

< hanibers, 65 73 
C'haniperaoone, 146 
Chandler, 215 272 
C'larllnn. 45 
Chase, 146 201 202 209 31'. | 

321 
Chastellux, 38 
C'hauncey, 136 
Cheever, 31 
Cheney, 68 
Cheslev, 72 
Childs, II 
Chiprann, 188 
Chrisiie. 226 310 
Cilley, 142 

< ;as.;en, 12 
Clapham, 280 
C app, 110 

Clark, 10 52 224 343 351 352 

356 
(lay 374 
CI ive.^, I!0 
Cliflm. 66 
C!oii;h 362 
Ccchran |i0 168 249 252 

253 321 



Cnfl-u, 49 93 293 
Co.5Xe8liall, 2.S7 

Co»;SMeIl. 75 
Colbath, 20d 207 
tioiby, 101 
Coleujan. 74 104 
Coleridge, 277 
Cook, 351 
Cooper, 287 
Colion, 97 127 
Coues, 240 to 247 
Cowhcld, 45 
Craiiie, 60 
CranliflJ, 157 
Cra.vlord, 144 374 
^rockelt, 1 2 
Cronnvell, 145 
Crooker, 179 180 
Cullaiii, 1(jO lOS 109 
Cuni.igiiam, 295 
Currier, 12 lOi 224 
Curbing, 75 228 
Cusluian, 12 



Iloyl, 66250 
HuUbanl, .56 59 68 
Hughes, 2Sil 
Hull, 204 261 202 32S 
Humphreys, 7b 77 2U3 
Hui.kuis, 73 
hunt, :a3 
}-Juulres=, 209 
Huske, 64 67 
liuiLhiugs, 113 



Cult, 48 49 69 70 97 I42to 133 Gilpin, 370 

cul:5, .2 31 117 142 to 149 1 228 291 292 

192 195 248 342 

Cutlei , 12 31 77 107 108 183 Goddard, 231 366 

194 195 200 268 317 ,G:itf, 124 



Friiik, 297 

Frosl, 64 69 146 171 258 

Frye, 343 

FultoD. 371 

Furbsr, 104 

furbish, 271 

Fuibisher S9 

Furniss, 225 

Fursell, iiO 

Ga?e, 250 232 

Gains, 26 27 99 100 195 207 Huichinis, 71 

339 355 366 367 Uuichii.gson, 123 

Gambling. 65 74 144 151 191 Huzzy 351 
Gardner. 224 259 295 357 i Irving, 251 
Gcddis, 209 Isaacs, 208 230 

Gee, 111 

G^rrish, 145 201 240 366 
Gibbius, 45 51 to 53 HI 
Gibbons. 53 57 71 
Gibson, 52 

Gibbi, 127 to 129 365 
Gillelt, 279 280 

12 49 65 73 92 141 



Jackson, 10 49 91 93 97 !(« 
135 196 199 209 215 222 
223 246 26326a 269 31 J 
334 338 343 366 371 
374 

Jaffrey, 49 64 68 69 70 117 
128 I36 10 159 191 2L0 
332 367 



363 366 
Cultiug 12 
Daiuerre 371 
Dal'by, S3 
U' Allemagne. 92 
llaoie, 91 223 224 
Uiniel, 61 69 144 
Uarii.iK, 164 
Uarlmouth, 251 233 
Davenport, lh2 228 229 
Uavidson, 184 
Davis, 222 
Uiy, 2r5 
D. an 366 

Dearborn. 11 28 386 
Usering. 131 251 
Uelande, 212 
DeiVIovau, 244 
Ueunelt, 101 196 254 260 
Uod^e. 328 
iioig, 91 



Goldiu.ith, 176 
Goldthwaile. 57 60 
Goodrich, 126 lib 
Goodwin, 16 
Gorges, 111 



James, 272 
>24 335 .lauvriD, 106 157 230 
i, lS-6 187 
Jay. 134 135 371 
Jelfirson,29 . 
Jetlrics. b.-- 69 70 159 

b, 44 57 59 155 341 
351 



Gruld, 272 
Gove, 2* 60 
Grace, 232 
Grafforlh, 144 316 
Grant 374 

Graves, 144 250 253 
Gray, 1 1 226 292 
Green,-£3 94 
Greenleaf, 
340 
Oregon-. 224 
Griff<s.'334 
Griffin, 239 
Gross, 144 
Grouard, 25 
Grow. 105 



JohLtOu, 196 212 241 371 
Joues,7j 77 109 226 23u 297 
G itham. 100 325 326 340 

Jose, 67 
Keese, 67 
Kelley, 111 
Keunard, 16 
Keoney. 67 
Kettle, 241 
KiOiball, 320 
King, 75 76 185 365 
116 137 155 285 Kneill, 112 

Knight. 46 52 72 74 97 144 



ISl 

Ladd, 145 188 230 247 318 
l.ai;hton,«56 59 24u 297 
Lake. 152 

i.akenian, ',X> 209 366 
Lauagai), 225 
Lang, S3 334 



Dow, 214 362 

Downing, 64 65 67 71 74 106 

Drake, 196 359 iHackett. 12 104 138 141 310 Laugdon 41 42 46 to 60 73 

trisco, 335 _, „„ .„J 320 j 116 123 134 14S IM6 

Drown, 15 31 114 132 133 136 Haines. IS6 359 241 334 335 338 366 

ISO l!-2 224 240 to 214 u^ie, 50 317 321 'Langf-.rd, 28 

Dudley, 57 128 " '" "" "" "^ '"■ ■ ■ - 



Hall, .57 59 00 66 109 184 L.rkin, 93 

I lt9 20U 209 357 lliislney, 261 
iHalliburtnn. 366 h 
jllim, 9 96 98 101 156 202 

224 306 329 366 367 
Hammond. 145 
Hancock- 27 302 

II and y 286 
Hardy, ICO 

195 211 293 320 

Harrison. 371 374 , 

Hart, 106 to 108 122 tol25 Livermoie, 134 135 140 155 
130 147 153 134 2S6| 150 334 335 

334 335 Livius, 7a to 83 

Harvey, 144 310 Llovd, 71 

Hiiicl:, 230 l>icke, 313 353 

Hathaway. 320 ! I,ngjiu». 65 

Haven, '1 12 93 127 179 181 Long, 12 93 147 209 245 
188 192 203 215 to 2:6 Lord, 24 114 231 340 366 
292 363 355 366 | Lovering. 178 

212 217 233 262 274 Haves, 99 310 Lowe, 153 209 2 H 

283 2-5 288 297 333 Hehdeis-m, 90 130 132 223 Lowell, 146 



Dush.-iii. 44 

Dwighi, :i31 

Eis^nian. 15 310 

Kiton, 74 127 223 

Kd wards, 203 225 

hlliol. 69 144 146 246 

Elwyn, 12 58 

Kmerson. 72 129^130 192 337 Hai 

Emely, 335 

Biidicot, 53 

fclvans, 60 

Falivan. 104 

Fairbanks. 93 

Farmer. Ill 

Felt, 353 

Fenton. 252 

Feroald. 11 15 50 59 98 19i 



Lavoisier. 214 

Lear, 46 52 53 56 59 68 

Leach, 259 

I-eaviit, 291 

Leigh, 93 148 149 150 

Lesvcy, 279 

Lilbiy, 239 

Lincoln, 61 371 

Little 



335 366 
Fillmore 371 
Fisher, 24 154^231 
Filch, 335 
Fitzgerald, 16 366 
Flagg. 100 193 
Flanders. 271 
Folsorn. 195 250 366 
F .rd. 229 

Foss. S9 to 101 1C9 340 
Fourcrov. 244 
Fowle, '90 91 95 
F.anklin, 327 
Freeman. 12-62 191 
Frenionf. 374 
Frcuow, is 



Hicks 99 

Hieiinson, 127 

Hill, IS 37 60 110^236 365 

366 
Hilliard, 85 
H.lton. 36 75 
Hirst, 72 
Hizeures. 41 
llobbs, 75 
H rl^es. 1^ 
Mnes. 145 
Holmos, 219 
Holvoke. 188 
H"rnv 221 225 
I ll-in'on, 331 



Hone, 1 15 



Lowd, 343 367 
I Lunt, 297 
I Lyman, 118 182 

MacCobb, 57 60 

.M icDonough. 251 

Macklin.339 

Macpheadris. 65 

Madisnn. 327 311 

Maouiii;. 135 137 155 209 339 

337 
Ma.'ch. 61 71 196 to 200 339 

340 344 
Mirinei. 176 272 283 
.Mirsh. 130 292 337 
Marshall, 136 170 219 233 



INDEX. 



Mirslon, 154 310 , 

Mar.iii, 79 90 263 
Wir<yn, 53 56 
Masoii, 12 31 53 78 HI 154 

155 15S 159 168 199 260 
Massena, 92 
Massey, 297 
Mdlher, 53 345 346 
Malthew, 269 
Msul, 331 

Maxwell, 298 to 303 307 
May, 83 
May nard, 227 
McCliniock, 160 to 163 193 

209 296 
McDaniels. 184 
Mclmosh,366 
Mclnlyre. 93 
McNeil, 227 
McPhededris, 69 
Mel Cher, 91 227 366 
Mendum. 11 71 219 296 297 

363 
Meserve. 65 72 79 124 226 239 
Metlin, 367 
Middlelnn, 45 
Miffliu. 304 to 307 
Miller, 11 12 298 303 
Mills, 148 1-19 
Milchell. 77 184 
Moffall, 146 192 215 218 
Montgomery, 162 164 192 
Monroe, 371 
Alo'jdy, 157 354 
Moore, 64 70 91 HI 144 146 

196 
Morrell, 56 59 
Morrison. 296 
Morse, 317 343 
Mnrtegues, 41 

Moses, 46 99 196 203 242 340 
IMoultnn, 24 
Mnuntford, 224 
Mowatt, 187 
MuJje, 28S 
Mussel. 168 
Neil, 93, 226,T227 228 
Xele, 51 

Nel sou, 99 291 292 325 
Nrwrnarch, 65 73 192 339 
Nichols, 2;4 259 
Nnble, 85 93 18S 194 297 
Niirris, 60 
North. 90 

Nutter, 201 212 227 297 
(toell, 12 
Odiorne. 35 36 37 49 64 65 

68 69 73 146 196 216 
Odiin, 64 63 73 
Orcutt, 1.36 
Orne, 185 

I'acker. 65 66 73 104 196 
}'aribh, 320 
Parker, 90 150 186 194 296 

297 
Parrott,166 
Parry, f 3 209 226 297 
Parsons, 72 
)'artinglon, 304 342 
Payne, 194 
Pavsnn, 320 

Peahody,107 116 188 259 291 
Pearse, 69 

PeirsoD. 64 70 I 

Peavy, 297 | 

Peduzzi, 367 
Peirce, 12 49 56 59 64;66 68 

to 70 196 199 200 310 

335 357 371 



Pcmberton, 144 

Peiiha.low, 33 47 74 90 118 

119 143 146 151 to 154 

157 191 
Perkins, 1(14 144 
Purry, ,328 
Pepperell, 64 69 71 73 101 

185 186 192 
Pett;?rew, 53 
I'hilbrick, 59 
Philpot, 328 
I'hiiis, 144 
Pickerine, 36 60 74 103 to 

115 125 130 184 193 

196 210 232 242 336 

340 361 
Pierrepoint, 210 
Pike. 66 225 
Piiikham, 115 
Plaisted, 67 217 
Plumraer, 64 65 101 194 223 

280 
Polk, 371 
Ponieroy, 93 227 
Porter, 185 328 
Potter, 117 209 320 343 
prescott, 188 
Prince, 186 
Pritcliard. 343 367 
Purccll, 49 
Putnam, 178 188 
Quincy. 67 145 
Quint, 124 224 
Rand, 170 198 
Randolph, 352 
Rea. 343 367 
Bedford. 66 
Reding. 11 365 
Heed 136 241 
Reid, 287 
Ri-uiick, 194 272 
Revere, 92 248 
Rice, 195 231 366 
Rinje, 64to63 74 104 110 337 
Rioms, 39 41 

Robinson, II 211 343 380 
Rochambeau, 38 
Rosers, 49 65 192 335 366 
Rollins, 104 335 
Ropes, 77 1S5 
Rousselet, 215 to 218 223 
Rowe. 343 
Rowland, 140 
Royal I, 186 
Ruck, 74 
Rundlett, 93 
Ruspert, 39 43 
Russell, 145 194 235 
Rust, 145, 
Rymes, 49 64 66 357 

Salter, 334 

Saltonslall, 145 

Sandeman, 243 

Sands, 57 

Schaffer, 279 

Schuvler, 80 

Scott, 374 

Scrivener. 146 

Seavey. 59 60 105 129 130 



196 

Seaward, 97 212 225 239 
Serat, 217 

Sewell. 30795 231 to'.233 
Shackford, 74 219 to 223 240 
Shakespeare, 324 
Shannon, 73' 

Shapley, 56 59 93 209 209 
iSliiw, 230 2S6 287 288 



iSheafe, .36 67 90 93 105 106 
I 126 to 136 193 194 204 

' 210 226f228 to 230 292 

293 "357 838 36C 
Sheldon, 28 
Shepherd, 23 
Shjpway, 143 
Slierburne, 44 to 59 60 64 to 

73 152 192 201 202 

209 212 214 219 239 

357 
Sherive, 212 
Sherman, 314 
Shillaber, 304 307 to 315 
Sliores. 222 223 B66 
Shoriridge, 43 44 
Stiurllert, 333 335 336 338 
Mber, 41 
Sigournev, 165 
Simes, 10 11 110 207 225 226 

296 297 298 
Simpson, 57 60 07 
Sinclair, 266 
Sise, i27 
Slade, 64 67 

Slnper, 46 51 52 56 144 151 
Smart, 286 

Smith, II 12 65 66 72 13 
139 202 204 211 244 320 
Snell, 320 
Solley, 64 68 69 70 
Somerby. 307 
Sowersby, 366 
Spaldins, 183 244 245 246 
Sparhawk. 76 77 78 93 185 

l!>6 187 192 
Spinney, 99 274 278 282 283 

234 
Spofford, 68 
Stark, 113 
Stavers, 85 135 226 
Stevens, 2!4 320 323 
Stewart. 202 
Still, 229 
Stone, 104 366 
Stoodley, 75 212 366 
Storer, 57 59 60 209 263 306 
Story, 325 366 
Stover 112 
Stow, 332 

strong, 73 333 to 336 
Sullivan, 50 57 60 79 81 140 

141 155 156 169 219 

250 
Sumner, 92 

TafI, 10 31 316 318 321 
Tailor, 66 
Tappan, 318 321 
Tarllon, 227 
Tash, 65 72 
Tasker. 320 
Taylor 49 371 374 
Telherlv, 32.1^ 
Thatcher. 127 123 
Thomas, 92 242' 
Thompson, 12 42 166 193 
Thornton, 113 
Tilton, 341, 343 
Tomson, 36 
Toppaii, 74 242 
Towiisend, 2h6 
Treadwell, 69 90 242 366 
Trecnihie. 70 
Tredick, 126 136 230 
Trefethen, 136^170 184 
Tripe, 223 
Tripyear, 272 
Trunibull. 162 
Trundy,.ll 



Tjckerman, 99 367 
Turell,10 II 227 272 279 383 

1 urner, 186 317 

I vler, 188 371 
Usher, 69 
Van Huren, 371 374 
Varney,72 
Varrell,209 211 212 
Vassell, 144 
Vandreuil, .39 to 43 
Vaughan, 6-1 69 71 144 to 14 7 

160 152 153) 191 195 
Victor, 324 

Yealon, 136 203 223 239 
Voung, 100 

Wadleigh, 365 

Wamwright 200 

Walbach, 276 179 to 234 

Walden, 135 

Waldron. 64 66 70 71 72 143 
145 153 191 366 

Walker. 12 64 68 128 256 209 
337 338 342 

Wallingford, 65 75' 

Walls, 143 

Walton, 64 60 129 330 331 
345 347 350 353 367 

Wannerton, 111 

Ward, 185 

Warner, 46 65 117 122 235 

Warren, 91 160 

VVashington. .50 92 114 133 163 
169 [232 361 

Walerhouse, 98 to 102 117 284 

Waters, 116 

Watkins, 73 

Watson, 286 289 

Weare, 60 100 | 

Webb, 127 

Webster, 31 113 203 210 360 
374 

Weeks, 105 196 358 to 36G 

Welch, 228 294 295 

Weld, 45 54 

Wendell, 47 

Wentworth, 30',41 42- 44 46 
49 50 54 60 62 to 69 
71 to 75 90 93 112 116 
119 129 131 154 155 
190 191 199 203 219 
243 248 251 253 263 
316 357 362 

Westbrnok. 64 68 71 

Whreler, 227 

Wherren,272 

Whidden,59 60153 1S6 

Whipple. 41 93 112 113 146 
192 210 L'SO 

White, 12 60 374 

Whitefield, 127 

Whtibam, lf4 

Whyddon. 56 

Wibiid, 64 66 191 

Wildes, 366 

Wiggin, 197 325 

Willard, 131 

Williams. 53 

Willis, 112 114 115 

Wilson, 64 70 

Windmill, 156 

Winklev, 59 74 99 144 J 

Winn, 217 239 

Winslow, 77 185 

Winlhrop, 63 55 

Wise. 335 

Woodbury, 12 31 37 ' ! 

Woodward. 203 207 239 

Wyat I, 203 242 333 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR 

PEEPABED AT THB BEQUEST OP HIS FAMILY, 

BY TV^rL.LLA.:M: H. Y. H^CKETT. 



I.\ offering to the public the second and concluding volume of 
the " Rambles about Portsmouth," it has been thought appro- 
priate to accompany it with a sketch of the life and character of 
the Author. This idea was suggested by the circumstance that 
the finishing of this volume and the close of his life were con- 
temporaneous. This volume not only comprises his last work ; 
but his last days, so far as his failing strength would allow, 
were occupied and solaced by a careful revision and prepara- 
tion of it for the press. 

Charles Warren Brewster was born September 13, 1802, in 
Portsmouth, in the house on Islington Street, a few rods north of 
that in which he died. He was the son of Samuel and Mary 
(Ham) Brewster, and a descendant of Elder William Brewster, 
who came over in the Mayflower. 

Few have exemplified better than ^Ir. Brewster, in life and 
conversation, the principles and character of his distinguished an- 
cestor. Few have ever more fully embraced, and lived by, those 
precepts — religious and political — which made Elder Brewster 
and his associates exiles from home, and the founders of a great 
nation. Few have more firmly and successfully shaped for 
themselves a life and character independent of surrounding circum- 
stances. So much did his life spring out of inward principles, that 
he was to some extent unmoved by the enterprises and fashions of 
the times in which he lived and labored. It was, perhaps, owing 
to this circumstance that his life was what is usually regarded as 
an uneventful one. Although it was one of ceaseless and syste- 
matic toil, it was wanting in that restless and expansive activity 
which have made or marred so many fortunes. He always had 
his home in one and the same spot, — rarely went abroad ; and 
this turn of mind, in connection with the regularity required and 
2 



10 RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

formed by the publication of a weekly journal, centered and in- 
tensified his interest in his occupation, his home and town. It was 
because he did not roam abroad, that he rambled so perseveringly 
and so satisfactorily at home. It was because he lived so entire- 
ly by the inward light, that he avoided those foibles which check- 
er, and those enterprises which modify, the lives of most men. 
It was because he delighted and to some extent lived in the past, 
that the public are favored with this and the preceding volume. 
It was because in his tastes and aspirations he was unlike most 
men, and sought a fact as resolutely as he would adhere to a 
principle ; because he hesitated at no toil which would establish 
a date, or illustrate a character ; because he would take as 
much pains to authenticate an anecdote as Audubon to find anew 
bird, — that we have an accurate and trustworthy account of the 
men and events of past times — a work which will inseparably con- 
nect the name of Charles W. Brewster with the history of Ports- 
mouth and the State. 

I applied to the schoolmates of Mr. Brewster for some ac- 
count of his boyhood and youth. One of them replied, that it 
" was so even that there was nothing to relate, except that he 
was better and more sedate than the other boys." Another said: 
" His boyhood was as even and regular as his subsequent life." 
He first attended the school of "Aunt Betsey" Lakeman, a well 
known teacher of young children, sixty years ago. He then at- 
tended the North School, taught by Deacon Enoch M. Clark, 
and subsequently the school taught by Mr. Taft, in what was 
then calleil the Brick School-house, on State Street. The last 
school he attended was that of the late Henry Jackson, in 1817. 

Having completed, under the tuition of Mr. Jackson, his school 
education, in his sixteenth year, on the 16th day of February, 
1818, he began to learn the business of a printer in the office of 
the "Portsmouth Oracle," then published by Charles Turell, 
and his connection with that paper continued from that day 
until his death, — a period of more than half a century. At 
tlie end of that time Stephen H. Simes was the only person 
then remaining in business on Market Street, who was in business 
there in the early years of his apprenticeship on that street. 

The first manuscript he put in type was an article written by 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 11 

the late Dr. Burroughs, who afterwards became a frequent and 
valued contributor to his paper, 

Mr. Brewster was one of the earUest, as well as one of the most 
valued acquaintances that I made when I first came to Ports- 
mouth in April, 1822. He was at that time foreman in the 
office of the Portsmouth Journal, then edited by Nath'l A. Haven, 
Jr., and published by the late Mr, Turell, About that time his 
intimate associates were Tobias H. Miller, who then kept a book- 
store on Congress Street ; Ammi R, H. Fernald, then a clerk in 
the store of Shadrach Robinson, Jr., on Bow Street ; George 
Dearborn, then a clerk in the book-store of Harrison Gray &, Eben 
L. Childs, on Pleasant Street; Bray U, Simes, a clerk in the store 
of M. B. Tnindy, on that part of Market Street then called Fore 
Street ; and the writer of this sketch. Two other gentlemen, 
who afterwards became distinguished members of Congress, 
about this time also were our acquaintances, — Francis O, J. 
Smith and John R. Reding, the latter of whom was for a short 
time in the office of the Portsmouth Journal, and the former then 
published a paper to which Mr. Brewster occasionally contributed. 

The entrance to the office of the Portsmouth Journal was from 
what was then Lunt's Court, opening into Market Street, about 
where C. H. Mendum & Co.'s store now is. At this time it was 
the fashion for apprentices, as well as law-students, to work even- 
ings. It was my practice, upon leaving Mr. Bartlett's office 
toward ten o'clock on Friday evenings, to go into the Journal 
office and make a friendly call upon Mr. Brewster ; see him "work 
off" (as he called it,) the inside of the Journal, and ascertain 
if any article which he or I had previously written had passed the 
editorial ordeal. He had schooled himself in writing for the press 
before he began to edit. He worked a hand press, which required 
two energetic pulls for each impression, and three or four hours of 
severe labor to print the whole inside of the paper. He usually 
worked, on Friday evening, till midnight, and the paper was dis- 
tributed on Saturday morning. When making such calls, it often 
happened that one or more of the above-named friends were 
present, and one at least, at times, aided him in his work and was 
quite expert in inking the types. During his apprenticeship, and 
until he became proprietor of the Journal, in his walk from the 



12 EAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

office to his home, he passed by, or in sight of, every Law office 
in town. That of Jeremiah Mason was over the southern part of the 
First National Bank, with Geo. M. Mason, Lory Odell, John Elwyn, 
Charles W. Cutter, S. P. Long, Hampden Cutts, Thomas Currier, and 
Wm. A. Walker, as students at law; Levi Woodbury's, over the 
northern part of the same Bank, with Franklin Peirce, John Thompson 
and Jos. W. White as students ; Ichabod Bartlett's, at the corner of 
Market and Bow streets, with Wm. H. Y. Hackett and Francis 0. 
J. Smith as students ; Nathaniel A. Haven, Jr.'s, at the corner of 
Market and Congress streets, with Alfred W. Haven as a student ; 
Edward Cutts's, on the same corner, with J. Trask Woodbury as a stu- 
dent, and Wm. Claggett's, with Jonas Cutting as a student ; Samuel 
Cushman's, where the Aqueduct Company's office now is, on Market 
Square ; and James Smith's, in the Piseataqua House. Peyton K. 
Freeman's office was then a little north of the Journal office. 

Several of these young gentlemen contributed to some one of the 
newspapers in town, and in this way became acquainted with Mr. 
Brewster. During his apprenticeship he wrote more frequently for 
other papers than for that with which he was connected. He took 
pains with his articles, regarding the exercise as a preparation for 
the position of an editor. He put most of Mr. Haven's editorial ar- 
ticles into type, and had an admiration for his style as a writer, and a 
veneration for his character as a man, traces of which were seen in 
his subsequent writings and life. 

In July, 1825, Mr. Brewster and Tobias H. Miller assumed the 
joint proprietorship of the Journal. This connection was maintained 
for about ten years, when, in 1835, he became sole proprietor and edi- 
tor. In 1858 he associated with him his son, Lewis W. Brewster, in 
these positions, who> upon his father's death became sole proprietor. 

Mr. Brewster married. May 13, 1828, Mary Oilman, daughter of 
Ward and Hannah Gilmau. They had nine children. His wife and 
four of their children, Lewis W., Charles C, Mary G-. and Helen A. 
G., survive him. At about the time of his marriage he became a 
member of the North (Congregational) Church, a position which he 
adorned through the remainder of his life. 

To the Journal he gave his thoughts, his labors and his talents. 
The forty-three volumes of that paper, commencing in 1825 and end- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 13 

ing in 1868, are at once the record of his industry, the illustration of 
his taste, the photograph of his character, his real biography. Dur- 
ing the whole of that period he was the principal writer, and every 
volume, every number, shows his taste as a printer, his ability as a 
writer, and his discriminating judgment in making selections. It 
has been well remarked, that the success of an editor depends quite as 
much on what he keeps out of his columns, as on what he puts into 
them. It would be difficult to find a newspaper more i'ree from every 
thing offensive to good taste. He aimed to make, and he did make, 
his Journal a good and valued family paper. Although it was always 
decided in its political principles, yet it supported them in a manner 
so free from bitterness, and was in other respects so judiciously 
managed, that it went into many families in which there was no syni- 
pathy with its politics. 

Although his paper was the organ, in this part of the State, of the 
party to which he belonged, and although he gave to his party a firm 
and uniform support, yet he found more satisfaction in getting up the 
miscellaneous than the political part of his paper. I have called 
upon him more than ouce in the midst of an exciting political cam- 
paign, and found him absorbed in writing a " Ramble, " or delighted 
with an ancient manuscript, or some scrap of history or biography. 

In the early part of his editorial experience, while the matter for 
his paper, during the week, was being put into type, he was arranging 
in his mind the location of it for the making up of his paper. Every 
article was thus assorted and located, by a rule as inflexible as that 
by which the naturalist classifies animals. And when on Friday he 
began to make up his paper, each article fell into its assigned place 
as regularly as the types of which it was composed fell, when dis- 
tributed, into their proper boxes. 

Mr. Brewster did not regard his paper only or chiefly as a means 
of making an income, but he viewed it as an instrument through 
which he was to perform important social duties. He felt as much 
responsible for the influence that his Journal exerted upon the com- 
munity as for his personal example in his iamily or upon his employ- 
ees. And he used every available means to make his influence felt for 
good. He thought not only the tone of his paper should be pure, but 
he believed that a correct style in arranging the matter, and beauty 



14 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

in the printing, aided in improving the taste and elevating the morals 
of his readers. He not only made the duties, toils and routine of life 
minister to the formation of his own high character, but he also made 
them the medium of a healthful and beneficent influence upon others. 

The publication of a weekly newspaper for a half-century tends to 
form habits of regularity and routine. In him the tendency to regu- 
larity pre-existed ; his occupation merely developed and established 
it. The idea that he could be away from his newspaper appeared not 
to have occun-ed to him. It would be safe to say that in forty-three 
years he was not absent from his ofl&ce on Friday at the making up 
of hiig paper, more than a dozen times. He allowed himself no relaxa- 
tion. He did not seem to desire any. He found his pleasure in his 
toil, his relaxation in his duty, and his happiness in his home. He 
did not carry the cares of business or the unfinished labors of the day 
to the fireside. Like most editors, he worked most easily and freely 
at his office-desk. His office was but a little more than two thousand 
feet i'rom his house, and yet he walked more than the distance round 
the globe between those two localities. He was rarely seen in any 
street, except in that which led either to the church or to his office. 
He was as regular in attending church on Sunday, as he was in pub- 
lishing his paper on Saturday. Although not averse to improve- 
ments, his tendency was to adhere to old habits, old principles, old 
friends, old books, and old ways of making money. For more than 
forty years he occupied the same office, and the same dwelling-house. 

He recently said, in his " Fifty Years in a Printing Office," that one 
of the first paragraphs he ever put into type was,— " The follies of 
youth are drafts on old age, payable forty years after date, with in- 
terest," Few men so successfully escaped this kind of drafts. His 
youth was as free from foibles as his manhood frcni faults. 

Through life he avoided every thing unbefitting a good man, as well 
from taste as from principle. He loved the beautiful in nature, art, 
and character. To him it was another name for purity. No one 
among us exerted a better, few a wider influence. It was not so 
much a demonstrative power, a sudden effort which invited public 
attention, as a quiet, persevering, effective influence, which gained and 
grew with advancing years — the blended influence of character and 
action, which benefiitted the object more than it revealed the cause. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 15 

To the benevolent organizations he gave his sympathy and cordial 
and liberal co-operation. For more than half his life-time he was 
the Secretary of the Howard Benevolent Society, one of the best 
charitable organizations in the city, and for many years Treasurer of 
the Portsmouth Bible Society. He was for some time Superintendent 
of the Sunday School connected with the North Church. 

The "Bambles about Portsmouth" were a labor of love, and, while 
indicating the direction of his reading, they afford a fair and favora- 
ble specimen of his style and taste. Plain Anglo-Saxon language 
flowed naturally from his pen. He commanded an easy and direct 
mode of expression, which formed an excellent narrative style. A 
pleasing story or a bit of romance always attracted him. He rescued 
it from the past, and lent it fresh charms by the simple, graceful 
mould in which he cast it. It is worthy of marked commendation, 
however, that he avoided the temptation of giving credence to pure 
fiction. Whatever was of doubtful origin never gained currency 
from him without being stamped as such. There was the quaint hu- 
mor of the chronicler, the fidelity of the historian. 

His labor in obtaining biographical facts, anecdotes and incidents, 
as materials for history, was such as no man would perform unless his 
heart were in his work. These articles were originally prepared for 
and published in his paper, and were compiled, through many years, 
from all accessible sources, manuscripts, letters, family records, city 
records, old newspapers, old deeds, wills, tombstones, and the recol- 
lections of aged people who have passed away. He was a long time 
in collecting the materials —some parts of a " Ramble " would be 
prepared years before a fact or incident necessary to complete it was 
obtained. He compared the statement of one aged person with that of 
another, and, when to be found, consulted contemporaneous accounts 
and incidents as well as collateral facts. Among others, he often 
conversed with, and obtained important facts from, the following 
named persons : 

Capt. Daniel Fernald, born Nov. 19, 1767, died Mar. 7, 18G6, age 99. 

Kenald Fernald, born Apr. 13, 1752, died Apr, 10, 1844, age 92. 

Daniel P. Drown, born June, 1784, died Mar. 24, 1863, age 80. 

Benjamin Akerman, born Feb. 3, 177G, died Feb. 20, 1867, age 91. 

Mary Brewster, born Feb. 15, 1775, died May 2, 1866, age 91. 



16 RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

Richard Fitzgerald, born Sept. 14, 1771, died Nov. 24, 1858, age 87. 

Oliver P. Kennard, now living. 

George G. Brewster, now living. 

From these and other sources he obtained merely the elements, — 
the data and crude material from which he worked. But as piled up 
on his desk, stowed away in drawers, or bound up for future use, they 
no more resembled a "llamble," as the reader now sees it, than the 
paper-maker's uncleansed rags resembled the fair sheet upon which it 
is printed. Those unacquainted with like undertakings can form no 
adequate idea of the labor, patience and perseverance necessary to 
prosecute such a work, — of the interruptions and delays which attend 
it^ — the research and discrimination requisite to discover and repro- 
duce a trait of character, a telling anecdote or incident, or to confirm 
or confute a tradition. In all this the family and friends of Mr. 
Brewster saw him often employed for years. But much of the inward 
work, which was from time to time, amidst the cares and toils of life, 
moulding the matter thus elaborated into narratives so life-like, so 
attractive, so genial, as often to remind one of the writings of Wash- 
ington Irving, gave no outward token of its process. The structure 
of these narratives, which is the blending of history, biography and 
romantic incidents, and constitutes the great merit and attractiveness 
of both volumes of the "Bambles," was in preparation while the 
writer appeared to others to be doing something else, or nothing, — 
walking the street, making up his paper, or sitting by the fireside. 

Mr. Brewster was a man of marked ability, untiring industry, and 
high-toned character, but of diffident and retiring habits. He was 
called, literally called, to fill several positions of trust. At the time 
of his death he was one of the Trustees of the Portsmouth Savings 
Bank. He served for two years as President of the Mechanics and 
Manufacturers Association. He was for thirty-four years Secretary of 
the Howard Benevolent Society, was for several years in one or the 
other branch of the City Government, was Representative in the State 
Legislature in 1846-7, and in 1850, with Gov. Goodwin and Ichabod 
Bartlett, was a delegate from his ward to the Convention to amend 
the State Constitution. He declined being candidate for other posi- 
tions, among them that of Mayor. In these and the other positions 
which he filled, he discharged his duties with diligence and ability, 



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCH. 



17 



and to general acceptance. He occasionally delivered addresses before 
the Lyceum, the Association of which he was President, and other 
public bodies. These addresses were always heard with pleasure, and 
were marked by good taste and sound thought. 

He was not only a good writer, as his forty-three volumes of the 
Portsmouth Journal and his two volumes of Rambles will abundantly 
show, but he was an historian, a lecturer, a biographer and a poet. His 
favorite reading was biography and poetry. He was very discriminat- 
ing and just in his biographical sketches of prominent men and of his 
townsmen. He had considerable poetic ability which he exercised 
too rarely. He occupies a prominent position in the " Poets of 
Portsmouth," from which volume is selected, as here appropriate, the 
following Ramble in rhyme : 

TKE Vu^VNE OF THE NO'EITTL CHTJRCIT. 

The vane of the North Church bore the date of 1732, when it was put up. It was not 
gilded until 1796. When destined to come down, in 1854, the vane is thus personified, to 
enable it to tell its story. 



I can't come down— I can't come down ! 

Call loudly as you may ! 
A century and a third I 've stood; 

Another I must stay. 

Long have I watched the changing scene, 

As every point I 've faced. 
And witnessed generations rise. 

Which others have displaced. 

The points of steel which o'er me rise 
Have blanched since I perched here — 

For Franiclin then wns but a boy. 
Who gave the lightning gear. 

The day when Cook exploring sailed, 

1 faced the eastern breeze ; 
Stationed at home, I turned my head 

To the far western seas. 

I 've stood while isles of savage men 

Grew harmless as the dove; 
And spears and battle axes turned 

To purposes of love, 

I looked on when those noble elms 

Upon my east first sprung. 
And heard, where now a factory stands. 

The ship-yard's busy hum. 

When tumult filled the anxious thiong, 

I found on eveiy side 
The constant breezes fanned a flame, 

And Ireedom's fire supplied. 

William and Marifs fort I 've oft 
Through storms kept full in view— 

Qi/ff«'s Chapfl in the snow squalls faced, 
And west— lojkej King sireti through. 



Fort Cnrtstitutiorr now takes place 
To meet my south-east glance; 

The shrill north-easters from Si. John's, 
Up Congress street advance. 

In peace I once felt truly vain^ 
For 'neath my shadow stood 

The man whom all the people loved, 
George Washington the good ! 

I 've seen — oh. may I ne'er again ! 

The flames thrice round me spread, 
And hundreds of familiar homes 

Turned to a light ash-bed ! 

But why recount the sights I 've seen ? 

You '11 say I 'm getting old — 
I '11 quit my tale, long though it be. 
And leave it half untold. 

The fame of Eogers, Fitch and Stiles, 

And Buckminsler— all true; 
And later men, whom all do know. 

Come passing in review. 

Their sainted souls, and hearers too — 
Your fath^s — where are they? 

The temple of their love still stands — 
It's mem'ries cheer your way. 

Till that old oak , among whose boughs 
The sun my first shade cast, 

Lays low in dust his vig'rous form, 
A respite 1 may ask. 

This little boon I now must crave — 

(Time's peliings I will scorn) — 
Till coivariJ-like 1 turn my head, 
Let me still face the storm. 



18 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

It was formerly the custom among the publishers of newspapers, 
to circulate, in or with the number of the paper issued on the first of 
January in each year, a poetical address to their patrons, called the 
Carrier's Address. Many years ago, and while the late Isaac Hill 
published the New Hampshire Patriot, he oifered a set of Sir Walter 
Scott's Poetical Works for the best "Carrier's Address" for the then 
approaching first of January. Mr. Brewster with several others com- 
peted for this prize. Among the many Addresses off"ered was one to 
which Mr. Hill, himself a poet, gave the decided preference, and it 
was the same to which the Committee afterwards awarded the prize. 
Mr. Hill, supposing the successful Address to have been the produc- 
tion of a lady, remarked that this circumstance would somewhat mod- 
erate the disappointment of the unsuccessful competitors. When the 
award was made and the opening of the envelope revealed Mr. Brews- 
ter as the writer, Mr. Hill was quite as much disappointed as any of 
the authors of the "rejected addresses." He was not more surprised 
to find that the prize was not to be given to a lady than that it was to 
be given to an editor and a political opponent. The reader will see that 
he judged much better of the merits than of the source of the success- 
ful Address. The prize was duly forwarded, and is now a cherished 
treasure in the library of the family of Mr. Brewster. 

This successful Address was the " History of News — Birth of the 
Press;" and it is presented here as being appropriate, alike from its 
origin and subject, to the profession of the writer, and as giving a fair 
specimen of his poetical writings. 

HISXOriY OW nSTEA^VS. BIRTH OW THE PRESS- 

1,0 ! when the Eternal planned his -wise design, 
Created earth, and, like his smile benign, 
With splendor, beauty, mildness, decked the skies,— 
Waked from eternal sleep, with wondering eyes 
Man viewed the scene, and gave to News its rise. 

New of himself, to Adam all was new,— 
The concave canopy, the landscape's view; 
The murmuring rivulet, and the zaphyr's sonnd ; 
The song -ter's carol, and the deer's light bound; 
The fruit luxuriant, where no brier sprung; 
No weary toil, from morn to setting sun; 
But every gale sweet odors wafted on. 
His joys to freshen. Though he yet was lone, 
This news was good indi ed : such riches given, 
Enough almost to make of earth a heaven. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 19 

But better news by far did Adam hear, 
When woman's voice first hailed his raptured ear, — 
Kews which, in later days, full well we know, 
Lightens life's load of many a heavy woe. 

But scarce our common parent rose from earth. 
Inhaled the breath of life, and Eve huA birth. 
When twined the monster round the fatal tree,— 
Dispelled their joy, content, and purity: 
Then agonizing Nature brought to view 
Ills which in Eden's bowers they never knew; 
Then, at that hour accursed, that hour forlorn, 
Bad News— the demon's first bequest— was bora. 
But, though ignobly born, to seek we 're prone 
The bad as well as good, and make onr own 
The knowledge of the griefs and woes of all 
On whom the withering frowns of Fortune fall. 

Bad news abundant since has filled our world; 
War's bloody garments oft have been unfurled,— 
The kindly parent oft been called to yield 
His earthly hope to dye the ensanguined field ; 
Disease oa toin our dearest hopes away, 
Tyrannic princes borne despotic sway; 
And every day the reckless bearer 's been 
Of evil tidings to the sons of men. 

But change this picture of a darkened hue ; 
Let scenes more bright row open to the view : 

Though things may change with ever-varying flow, 

They do not biing to all unmingled woe. 

Do millions mourn a kingdom's fallen slate ? 

A Caesar hails the news with joy elate. 

Does drought or frost destroy the planter's hope, 

And climes more genial yield a fruitful crop ? 

Enhanced by contrast, these delight the more 

In the good tidings of their bounteous store. 

Does "the insatiate archer" claim a prize? 

The weeping friend, the heir with tearless eyes, 

Jrhow joy is oft the associate of grief, 

And pain to some, to others is relief. 
Full many ages, centuries rolled along. 

Ere news a record found, the press a tongue. 

From sire to son, tradition's tale was told. 

Or musty parchment spoke tlie days of old ; 

No minor incidents of passing time 

Ere filled a page or occupied a rhyme ; 

No wars of politics on paper fought, 

And few the favored ones by science taugl;t. 

Minerva saw the dreary waste below. 

And urged the gods their bounties to bestow. 

The mind ol man to chaste refinement bring. 

And ope to all^the pure Pierian spring 

The gods convened;, but still Minerva frowned: 

Not one of all their gifts her wishes crowned, 



20 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Till Vulcan thus, — and simple tlio address,— 
" 3Iy richest gifts behold, — the types and press!" 
The goddess smiled, and swiftly Mercury flies 
To bear to earth the god's most favored prize. 
Auspicious hour! hail, morn of brighter day! 
Ages of darkness, close ! to light give way! 

The mom Is past, the splendid sun is high I 
The mist dispelled, and all beneath the sky 
Feel Its kind influence; and its cheering ray 
Enlivens all, and shines in brilliant day. 
The sacred writ, which once was scarcely known 
To teachers, now (almost a dream !) is thrown 
Into a book, — all, in one little hour, 
Alike in king's and lowest menial's power; 
And bounteous given — scarce is felt the task — 
In every work which use or fancy ask. 
Thousands of years a dreary night had been, 
Ere Vulcan's art surpassed the tedious pen,— 
Ere down from heaven this precious gift was brought. 
To lend the speed of lightning unto thought. 

From necessity and practice Mr. Brewster early acquired the habit 
of writing rapidly. He also had the power of abstraction, and the 
current of his thoughts and the preparation of his editorial matter 
were not disturbed or impeded by the clatter of a printing office. He 
wrote, as he lived, from the light within. Sedate and retiring as he 
was, he had a fund of humor and wit which he sought rather to repress 
than exhibit, but which at times enlivened his friends and his paper. 

His habits and tastes made him averse to newspaper controversy. 
What editor in the country, of his extended experience, has so gener- 
ally avoided it ? When forced into it, however, he was quick to 
"make the opposer beware" of whom he had attacked. His criticisms 
were pungent, his wit not seldom caustic. He undoubtedly possessed 
great powers of sarcasm. That they were used so sparingly, and never 
by way of display, but invariably in defence of what he was convinced 
was the right, or in exposing error and deceit, is characteristic of the 
man. 

Mr. Brewster, like many of our prominent and able men, was edu- 
cated in a printing office and at the editor's desk. There is something 
in the constant and powerful pressure upon an American editor — obliging 
him to record and comment upon the events as they occur, and to 
discuss those principles which are growing and ripening in the public 
mind and bringing him daily to a searching examination of the moral, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 21 

social, economical and political problems which crowd and succeed each 
other with such rapid succession — that tends to quicken his powers and 
concentrate his energies ; to give a decisive and practical cast to his 
character, and to force him into prominence and success. 

This pressure developed Mr. Brewster. He was naturally retiring — 
unwilling to be before the public. His position compelled him to 
write; and he was found in this, as well as in all other positions in 
which he was placed, equal to the demands made upon him. This 
discipline made him a good and able writer and author and a successful 
business man, and gave him the tastes and habits of a scholar, a wide 
influence and a high position. The life of an editor makes some per- 
sons aggressive and irritable. But Mr. Brewster yielded to no 
such influence. He never alienated a friend or made an enemy. 
He early formed a plan of life, and faithfully acted upon it to the end. 
He was more anxious to be right than to be thought so ; more intent 
upon doing his duty than in obtaining the reward for it ; thought 
more of publishing a good than a profitable paper — more of being a 
useful than a prominent man. And at his death the universal feeling 
of respect for his memory, was his best eulogy. 

But the great, rounded and ripened feature in Mr. Brewster's char- 
acter, that which as years passed over him in his quiet walk of labor 
and usefulness, gained, deepened and fixed the public confidence and 
respect, was his integrity and purity. He was a remarkable man, 
not only for his industry and ability, his purity and success, but for 
his self-culture and wise self-control. His life was harmonious and 
symmetrical. His impulses were so under subjection that he appeared 
not so much to resist temptations as to avoid them. He was so dili- 
gent in the line of duty that he had as little opportunity as inclination 
to depart from it. Such a life, sweetening and cementing the domes- 
tic and social relations, was as full of happiness as of beauty. He 
died as calmly and serenely as he had lived, in the enjoyment of 
the affectionate respect of his townsmen and of the public. 

To a neighbor, and life-long friend, who in taking leave of 
him a few evenings before his death referred to his approaching 
end, he said, "It matters not whether to-morrow finds me in this world 
or the next." A few hours before his death, as I approached his 
bed-side to take leave of him, he made me sit down, and then with 



22 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

labored breatli reminded me of our life-long intimacy, and of the 
pleasure it had been to him. And as he calmly gave me his hand and 
said, "Good bye, I shall not be alive to-morrow," he was the only one 
unmoved in the room. His appearance indicated that the prayer of 
his youth, uttered in a poem from which the following is extracted, 
was fulfilled: 



how sweet, when the curtain of twilight 's o'erspreading, 

And weary nature is sinliing to rost, 
how Bweet to recur, with conscience undreading, 

To EGeoeB where fond pleasure illumin'd the breast : 

Those scenes where friendship waked anew. 

Misconduct past forgiv'n — 
Where hatred fled, lilce morning dew 

By warming sun-beams diiv'n. 

how sweet, when the last ray of twilight is gleaming, 
And gath'ring shadows remind of the tomb, 

O how sweet to behold Luna radiant beaming, 

in majesty mild, dispersing the gloom. — 

Thus when shades of death come o'er us, 

And earthly joys are riven, 
Siar of Bethlehem, rise before us — 

The wand'rer lead to Heaven." 



RAMBLE LXXXIV. 

Site antl A.ssociations of the IN"e-w City Rooins — IBriclc 
BXarket and Jefferson Hall. 

Me. Mayor and Gentlemen : 

I am called upon to give a historical sketch of the site 
and associations of the New City RoomS; which have to- 
night,* for the first time, been thrown open for the use of 
the City Government. As we have passed from room to 
room it has been a matter of surprise to many of us that 
the old Jefferson Hall, spacious though it seemed, could 
have been transformed into so many capacious, well propor- 
tioned, cleanly and pleasant rooms — all just large enough 
for the purposes for which they are needed ; and ap. 
preached too by an easy flight of stairs, instead of winding 
up as heretofore around spiral columns. The whole inter, 
nal arrangements are such as rest pleasantly upon the eye, 
and do credit to our city. 

In the history of our ancient town, there is no period 
more marked by public enterprise than the five years at 
the close of the last century. In 1798, of the six hundred 
twenty-six dwelling houses in Portsmouth, there were 
only sixteen of three stories. In three years after, there 
were five of the latter class of houses added. In 1795 the 



*5NoTE — This address was made at the request of the City Government of Portsmouth, 
by the Rambler, at the celebration of the opening of the new City Ecoms, Thursday evening, 
Nov. 10, 1S64. 



24 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Portsmouth Pier Company was incorporated. Their block 
of fourteen stores, three hundred twenty feet long and 
three stories high, was said to have no equal in New Eng- 
land, Seventeen vessels for foreign trade were built here 
in the year 1801. It was in 1799 that this spirit of enter- 
prise brought the Aqueduct into Portsmouth ; and our 
home enterprise was also the means of building Piscataqua 
Bridge about the same time. It was then, too, that the 
Salt works were constructed on our river. 

It was in this age of enterprise, nearly seventy years 
ago, that our fathers came to the conclusion that a second 
public Market Plouse was needed in a more central posi- 
tion ; and in 1794 the town purchased of John Fisher, of 
London, for the sum of £450, the land on which the Brick 
Market House now stands. The condition of the sale was, 
that the land shall be ''used and occupied for a public mar- 
ket place for the town of Portsmouth forever." Fisher 
purchased this lot with a house upon it, of Josiah Moulton, 
in 1744. 

Previous to 1744, the whole of the land now occupied 
by the Exchange Buildings, and about 100 feet deep, was 
owned by Capt. Nathaniel Adams, the father of the late 
Nathaniel Adams, Annalist of Portsmouth. In 1744, John 
Fisher bought of the heirs of Adams about two-thirds of 
their land on the north side. Up to 1813, the Fisher man- 
sion stood on the site of the Rockingham Bank ; was a 
gambrel-roofed house very nearly resembling the residence 
of Samuel Lord on Middle street, and like that house its 
end was toward the street, within an open fence, and 
facing a garden on the south. There was then no house 
between Fisher's and Adams's. The latter was of two 
stories, on the corner of State-street ; outside of the pres- 
ent corner, 19 feet on Pleasant, and 12 feet on State street. 
A row of large elms grew on the outside of the unpaved 
side-walk between the two houses. Under these trees was 



JEFFERSON HALL. 25 

a place of much resort in the summer. Here the military 
companies found a place for drilling in the shade ; and 
these military displays doubtless gave the name to the 
Parade, as Market Square was formerly called. 

On the spot where the Market House now stands was an 
old two-story house occupied by James Grouard, who 
kept a hat store in front, and, in a one-story building ad- 
ioiuing on the north, manufactured his felts and cocked 
hats. This old house was furnished with a large chamber 
fronting on the Parade, which was rented for puldic uses. 
Here day-schools were kept, and here were held the even- 
ing singing schools some of our mothers and grandmoth- 
ers delighted to attend. We know little of Mr. Grouard 
excepting that he was a matter-of-fact sort of man, fond 
of good living, and blessed with a good appetite — for to 
him, he said, a roast goose was a very awkward dish, being 
more than he could comfortably eat, but not enough to ask 
a friend to dine wnth him. 

A few rods to the northwest of this house was the old 
State House, where the General and County Courts were 
held, and all public meetings for elections and other pur- 
poses were called. Here too, in the lower room, the inde- 
pendent military companies held their meetings, — while 
the jMasons held convivial sessions in the East Chamber. 
The lower room of the old State House was also burdened 
by the hooks, ladders and other apparatus of the fire de- 
partment. 

Notwithstanding, the need of a public Hall as well as a 
j\Iarket House was so apparent, the committee appointed 
in 1799, to take into consideration the expediency of 
building a Market House, reported that it was expedient 
to erect a building for a Market, on the lot purchased. 
The building to be 80 feet long, 30 wide, and one-story 
high, with a roof supported by pillars, and projecting four 
feet on each side. The pillars to be of brick, and so 
3 



26 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

constructed that the building may be cool and airy in 
summer, and that the northerly side may be closed by 
doors against the storms in winter. The expense was 
estimated at one thousand dollars. 

This report, it appears, did not meet the public approba- 
tion ; so after further consideration, at a town meeting 
held on the 7th of April, 1800, it was decided to erect a 
Market House and Hall over it. The building to be 80 
feet long and 35 feet wide. The lower story 12 feet high, 
and the upper 1-4 — intended, as was said at the time, for "a 
commodious and elegant Town Hall." The town passed a 
vote that the Market roof be covered with tar and gravel 
to protect it from fire. As we find one hundred dollars 
were expended for shingles, it is probable that this vote 
was not regarded. 

In four days after the vote to build was passed, the 
building committee, "of which Col. Gains was chairman, 
advertised for bricks, lime, stone, &c. Soon the laud was 
cleared, and the work commenced ; and it is recorded as a 
remarkable fact for those times, that in 39 days, all the 
bricks, amounting to 1-45,000, were laid. We find that no 
less than eighty-nine persons were employed in construct- 
ing the l3uilding, of whom only two are now living. It is 
not probable that the work proceeded as noiselessly as 
that on Solomon's Temple, for we find among the bills one 
of $129, for a hogshead of rum, and also a bill of $70 for 
brads, lead and rum. This is some indication of the spirit 
of those times. The whole expense of the building, aside 
from the land, was $7,565.90. 

The chairman of the building committee, who superin- 
tended the work, brought in no bill for his services, but 
left the matter with the town. The town readily voted 
to give CoL George Gains $150. He gave bis receipt 
accordingly. 

Here a word for that father of Portsmouth, who so long 



JEFFERSON HALL. 27 

retained his popularity with the people. Col. Gains was 
an honest, upright man, somewhat self-willed ; but a high 
sense of justice was his predominant trait. With a single 
eye to the public good, he would readily take responsibili- 
ties which others would be slow to assume — doing himself 
the business which belonged properly to a whole board. 
He was in fact the Selectman. 

As he never abused the confidence placed in him, to 
promote his own pecuniary interest, the public kept him 
continually in office. For thirty years he was regularly 
elected a Selectman, and as many years a Representative 
to the General Court. One of the keys to his popularity 
may be found in the above matter. Leaving the town to 
fix his compensation, instead of bringing in a bill — which 
if ever so small some might object to — shows that he 
knew how to promote his own interest as well as preserve 
the public favor. 

In November, 1800, we find the Market is ready for 
occupancy, and Richard Billings (who had been a clerk to 
John Hancock) was appointed Clerk of the Market. He 
gives public notice that he will be happy to accommodate 
all his country friends with convenient stands in the new 
Brick Market, and insure them good prices and quick sales 
for their provisions. " This Market," he says, " has been 
built at great expense to shelter people from the weather. 
He is sorry to observe at this inclement season persons 
shivering in their open sleighs, when they could be more 
comfortable in the house — and he is sorry to observe 
gentlemen of the town hovering round the sleighs, when 
they ought to recommend the general use of the Market, 
and prevent forestalling." 

Mr. Billings, a citizen of some distinction, was clerk but 
one year, when his place was filled by Deacon Samuel 
Bowles, who died in 1802. 

Forestalling, to which Mr. Billings refers, was in thpse 



28 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

days, as in previous years, regarded as a grievous offence. 
It was for a time finable fur any storekeeper to offer meat 
to sell before three o'clock in the afternoon, thus reserving 
to those who brought in meat or poultry from the country 
for sale, the right of retailing until the dining hour had 
passed. 

We find among the series of rules adopted for the gov- 
ernment of the Market, that no meat of any kind should be 
carried into the west front arches of the Market; that no 
meat of any kind should be left in the Market over night, 
on penalty of forfeiture ; that the market be closed at 4 p., 
M, except on Saturdays ; and that the regular market days 
be Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It would appear by 
this that at first the Market was opened only three days in 
the week. 

There were six stalls for regular merchants, and four 
stalls at the east end for the use of the countiy traders. 
Among the first regular occupants were Anthony Lang- 
ford, Joseph and Isaac Shepherd, Asa Dearborn, John 
Fi'ench, Amos Sheldon, and Capt. Edward Gove. 

The New Market House and Jefferson Hall, with their 
good finish, had hardly been soiled by use when, on the 
2Gth of Dec. 1802, its internal work and roof were con- 
sumed in the first great conflagration in Portsmouth. For 
a time its standing walls and open arches on every side 
presented the appearance of some ancient ruin, — but such 
it was not long left to remain. 

In 180-1 it was rebuilt and in use again, with the same 
appearance as before the fire. The roof of the Hall, by a 
vote of the town, was better protected against fire, by 
being covered with tin. The roof at that time was quite 
flat, and hipped — the handsomely proja^'ting eaves in the 
front and rear of the building being on a line with those 
on the sides. The roof of the Piscataqua Bank building 
was made in imitation of that of the Market. This good 



JEFFERSON HALL. 29 

architectural symmetr}' was wLolly destroyed wlien, about 
twenty years ago, tlie roof was raised and slated, and the 
eaves drawn in. Up to 1826, the arches of the Market, on 
the north and south sides, were filled with large loose doors 
without lights. In the coldest weather the doors were 
kept open through the day, and the hardy butchers kept 
their blood warm by stamping the feet and thrashing Avith 
the arms — for a stove in the Market had never been thought 
of. In 182G the arches Avere contracted by brick work, 
and tight doors put in, with windows over eacli to admit 
the light. For a quarter of a century the only light to 
the Market when it was closed had been that from the 
semi-circular window over the front entrance, Avhich is still 
retained there. This desire for Hght, as well as the ar- 
rangement made for warming the Market, were certainly 
evidences of progress. 

Xow we will leave the Market for the room over it, 
which, like many children, was several months old before 
it had a name. In Jan. 1801, we find it spoken of as " the 
Town Hall." At the annual town meeting held in the 
Court House March 25, 1801, it was voted, that the cham- 
ber of the Brick Market be hereafter called Jefferson Hall. 
Thus it appears that Jefferson Hall received its name just 
three weeks after Thomas Jefferson had taken his seat as 
President of the United States. The first public use of 
the Hall we can find was on the .24th of June, 1801, when 
the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire convened at Jefferson 
Hall on St. John's Day, and after proceeding to St. John's 
Church returned to Jefferson Hall, where an elegant repast 
was partaken. 

On ihe 4th of July, 1801, a company dined in Jefferson 
Hall. We find no record of any other use of the first Jefl 
ferson Hall until the next 4th of July, in 1802. In that 
year there were celebrations by both political parties. 
The Federalists dined at Piscataqua Bridge, in Washington 



30 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Hall, and the Republicans took their dinner at Jefferson 
Hall. We have the original odes sung by both parties on 
that day. That sung at Jefferson Hall was by John 
Wextworth. die verse will serve as a specimen: 

That man so revered, so virtuous, eo great, 
AVlio saved a whole people, and then saved a State, 
By wisdom and fii luness, — 't is him vre extol. 
And ring Jefferson's praises through Jefferson Hall. 
Kerry Down, etc. 

The other ode^ swng at Washington Hall, was from the 
pen of J. M. Sewell. It shows a rather bitter party feel- 
ing in classing the room over the Market witli the shambles 
below, and calling it Jefferson's stall. One verse will suf- 
fice : 

But ah! vfhat dire planet o'ershadows the day 
On which Freedom's Suu lately beam'd forth benignant? 

What comet portentous siVeds dealh and dismay? 
'T is Jffferson^s orb. lil^e the 'lus; star, malignant. 
I5ut decreed is its doom I 
The blest peiiod will come 
tVhen the Day Star of Reason will scatter the gloom .' 
Away then to Freedom I leaVe Jefferson's stall ! 
And court tlie bright goddess in Washington Hall ! ^ 

It appears that the first Hall, through feelings of preju- 
dice arising from the name, was used by one party only 
for meetings decidedly political. The Hall was kept very 
carefully as a public ornamerrt, the Selectmen being unwill- 
ing to devote it to any common purposes. There was at 
first some difficulty experienced by the Artiller}'-, Light 
Infmtry, and Gilman Blues (the independent companies of 
that day,) in obtaining it for drill meetings. A town meet- 
ing was called on the subject, and they Voted to give the 
companies the lase of it. In August^ 1802, Ave notice a 
meeting there of the Artillery Company — and this is the 
last meeting recorded in the first Jefferson Hall, before the 
fire not only cleared away all that was combustible^ but also 
purified the partisan animosity which its name had so 
unwisely created. Nobody after the fire appears to have 
objected to the name of Jefferson Hall. 



JEFFERSON HALL. 31 

The entrance to Jefferson Hall was originally in the east 
end, by two easy flights of stairs, and through ante-rooms. 
It was for many years the place from which public proces- 
sions were formed — the place for 4th of July and other 
public dinners, and for meetings of citizens on public oc- 
casions ; but it was not until 1818 that it was used for 
town or state elections. Up to that year all meetings for 
election took place in the Old State House. In 1814, after 
tiie third great fire, the boys' high school, under Master 
Taft, was kept there for about a year. In 1819 it was for 
one season used as the great Sabbath School Room of 
Portsmouth, which the children of all parishes attended. 

Of the scenes of the last forty years which Jefferson Hall 
has presented on town meeting days, many of you must 
have vivid recollections. The turmoil which arises where 
party spriit is infla.med by other spirits, (we speak of other 
days,) has often burst forth here like a volcano. For some 
men, who are sedate all the year, will somehow get excited 
on these occasions, where every man knows that his vote 
is of as much value as that of any one else. Jefferson Hall 
has been the forum where native eloquence has flourished. 
Here have been heard the voices of Webster, Mason, Wood- 
bury, Cutts, Bartlett, Cutter, Cheever, Drown, and a host of 
those now living who were ready with the voice of wisdom 
to guide their fellow citizens — and there might be enume- 
rated another class of orators, whose rough-hewn arguments 
never lacked fire and quaintness. The life of Jefferson 
Hall on election days was however almost extinguished by 
the adoption of the City Government in 1849. The North 
and the South wards withdrew the leading spirits, and since 
that time the Old Hall has seemed to say to the voters on 
election day, as they silently come and go, Where is tlie 
spirit of the former day? It seems to have expired with 
" that night" which followed March 13, 1849, when for only 
once in the history of Jefferson Hall, the morning sun rose 
with the Moderator of the former day yet in his chair. 



^'Z RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

But old Jefferson Hall has occasionally presented a bet- 
ter spectacle. Arrayed in the flags of various nations, Avitli 
Avell covered and well attended tables, many a visitor has 
been made happy, according to the number of shillings he 
has bestowed for some object of benevolence. Here too 
has been the pleasant promenade, Avhere the band and 
songsters have imparted life to the gathering. 

Unlucky was the effort, three years since, of that well- 
meaning individual* who attempted in Jefferson Hall a State 
Mechanics Pair on his own responsibility. A temporary 
addition in the rear, nearly as capacious as the Hall, M-as 
erected. The expected articles for exhibition, however, did 
not appear. It was a sad failure ; but the manager, too 
honest to wrong any one, at once enlisted in the army, and 
with his bounty money paid his debts. In a few months he 
rested with the honored dead. 

Whether the spirit of this noble soldier still hovered 
around the scene which was the disturbing cause of his 
earthly comfort, we cannot say ; but a military spirit was 
visible in Jefierson Hall soon after his death, when the 
Hall became a barrack for soldiers — and to this service of 
the country its last days were mainly devoted. In what 
more appropriate service could that Hall, which for sixty- 
three years has borne the name of Jefferson, be closed, 
now that it will bear that name no more forever I 

In its place, what have we seen to-night? We have 
passed up an easy stairway and through a wide entry to a 
series of five capacious rooms, each independently warmed 
and lighted, and fitted for its particular purpose. As we 
pass under the City Safe, we cannot overlook it. We 
really have at last a safe. For more than 200 years the 
manuscript records and documents of great value have had 
less care taken of them than almost any merchant takes of 
his day-book. In the great fire of 1813, the town clerk's 

o Henry M. Carter. 



JEFFERSON HALL. 33 

room, which was in the northeast corner of the Brick 
school-house on State street, was burnt. In this room, in a 
wooden chest, were the old and new records and papers of 
the town, which but for the thoughtfuluess and eflbrts of an 
individual, Hon. Hunkiug Penhallow, would have been 
consumed. Had he not timely entered the room and se- 
cured the papers, we should now have been without any 
town record previous to that time. Yet even after this 
narrow escape, the town and city records have never, until 
now, been deposited a single day in a place secure against 
fire. The expenditure of $20,000 for a city hall, or any other 
public purpose, would have been a small item in comparison 
with the loss of the city papers, which are safe at last. 

The door of the west room, in which the safe opens, is 
labelled " City Clerk." This important city official is al- 
ways expected to be on hand, and so the most pleasant 
room is assigned him. At that table, filled with books and 
papers, the unwearied pilot o^ the City Government may in 
all future time be found, called often to the exercise of the 
grace of patience, which will fit him for enduring any of 
the varied evils of life. 

In another room, with scarcely less of care, but cheered 
by the current of nioney which at particular seasons flows 
through that channel, may be found the Collector and 
Treasurer, sitting at his receipt of customs, seemingly as 
unconscious as the dentist extracting teeth, of the pain felt 
by those who pay over their hard-earned money for the 
support of the city. Only a small proportion of the visitors 
will leave this room richer pecuniarily than they entered, 
but every patriot will feel richer in the consciousness that 
his arm aids in keeping in motion the machinery which 
protects his property, his rights and his life, and keeps a 
good house always in reserve for him. 

In another room, for a century to come, may be found 
the man whom the city delights to honor, filling tho 



34 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

dignified position of the Mayor's chair. The room is well 
finished and furnished, — but his presiding seat in the 
adjoining room, and the tasteful chairs and desks of the 
Aldermen, with the whole finish and decorations, make it 
almost equal to an Italian Senate Chamber. Around the 
walls, instead of the works of the old masters, the portraits 
of the past Mayors are displayed, and vacancies are kept to 
be filled by the long train of honorables who are to succeed 
the present worthy incumbent. In the eight easy chairs 
and at that desk the consolidated wisdom of the City will 
bo annually placed by the public voice ; and to them will 
be committed the very hard task of pleasing everybody. 
If this is not done, fiiint will be the praises they may expect 
to receive from those whom they do not obey. 

In that great room in the east, over the door of which 
the bust of the eloquent Webster is placed, will the people 
be represented by a Common Council, who will hold the 
purse strings and the check reins, and do all manner ot 
wise things to regulate the machinery of the City Govern- 
ment. Here the germs of eloquence will be developed 
upon all sorts of appropriations ; and scrutinizing commit- 
tees will often think they discover measures introduced to 
promote some party purpose of their opponents. Here the 
practice of vigilance, in a right spirit, will ever promote 
the public good. Long may the interest of the people 
here be rightly represented ! 

We are now, Mayor and gentlemen, done with Jefferson 
Hall and its surroundings. May the future doings of the 
City Rooms of Portsmouth bo marked with that wisdom 
and harmony of action which will give it a pleasant record 
in future historv. 



odioene's point. 35 



EAMBLE LXXXr. 

Odiorne's I'oint — The inirvst Ho^Tse and First Cemetery- 
in ^N'e'v^ Hainpshire. 

•* Here the dark forest's mMnight shade began 
To own the power of cultivated man ; 
Here is the shore, whose wide-extended breast 
First gave its borders for the ffanderer's rest." 

The locality which should be the most venerated, not 
only by our own townsmen, but by every citizen of New 
Hampshire, is certainly where the first emigrants landed, 
and the spot on which was erected the first house in New 
Hampshire. How many associations cluster around this 
beginning of the history of our State. Less sacred they 
may be than those which surround the Plymouth Rock, — 
for the first settlers of New Hampshire came here to trade 
and fish, while the Pilgrims landed there for the enjoyment 
of religious freedom. 

This place, of so much historic interest, is only about 
three miles from Market Square, and an hour's Avalk through 
interesting scenery will find you there. It may seem 
strange to residents elsewhere that any direction is needed 
from us to point out the spot to our home readers, — but 
when it is known that probably not fifty of our population 
of ten thousand ever visited the spot with any distinct 
knowledge of the several localities connected with our 
early history, that wonder will cease. 

From the Sagamore House, on the South, is the road 
which leads to Odiorne's Point. On this road is but one 
house, which is a quarter of a mile distant. It is owned 
and occupied by Mr. Eben L. Odiorne, who inherits the 
farm which extends to the Point, where his ancestors re- 
sided for more than two centuries. We find the name ol 
John Odiorne occupying this locality in 16G0. Forty-three 
acres were then owned by him. He was a citizen of Ports- 



36 RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

mouth in 1657, and probably then resided there ; but of this 
we are not certain. He gave name to the Point. Coun- 
cillor Jotham Odiorne, who died in IT-IS, at the age of 73, 
was the son of John. 

Odiorne's Point should be respected as our Plj^mouth 
Rock. Here, in 1G23, the little band landed, who were 
commissioned by the Laconia Company in England to found 
a plantation. In a ramble to the Point a week or two 
since, we found enough of tradition in the occupant, and 
visible remains left, to locate the spot where the first house, 
called Mason's Hall or the Manor House, was erected, — to 
designate also the locality of the first smith's shop. The 
\vell of the Manor House is yet to be seen in the field — 
and the cool, fresh water running from beneath the ledge 
on the shore, scarcely above the tide water, flows as freely 
now as when Tomson, the Hiltons and their companions 
quenched their thirst at it two hundred and forty-six years 
ago. Perhaps this inviting spring decided to them the site 
of their habitation. 

The present proprietor of the ancient Manor does honor 
to his ancestors in presenting well cultivated land and a 
handsome farm residence. He seems however not much to 
pride himself upon his ancestiy or the externals of his lo- 
cality. So little of inquiry has been made of late years, 
that even the '' garrison field" and ''fish flake field" are 
spoken of as names that were formerly used. 

Just before reaching the house, on the opposite side of 
the road, is a lane which leads nearly to the beach. The 
site of tbe old smith's shop was on the north side of this 
lane, on the highest point of land. Pieces of iron are now 
occasionally turned up in ploughing there. It is near the 
end of this lane on the beach that the spring flows. Here 
in former times, when the memory of the spot was more 
regarded, might be seen the Sheafes, the Pickerings and 
others, enjoying a social remembrance pic-nic and drawing 



odiorne's point. 37 

their libations from the ancient fountain of the first resi- 
dents. 

But where was tlie site of Mason's Hall? Come this 
way, said Mr. Odiorne. And he led us through his spacious 
and ghady farm yard, and down about twenty or thii'ty rods, 
in a southwest direction, from his house. Here, on a spot 
now covered with cabbage plants, tradition says the first 
house in New Hampshire was erected. Pieces of brick 
are yet turned up in ploughing, a small piece of ancient 
brown ware wo picked up, and pieces of metal are here 
sometimes found. Although no monument designates the 
spot, yet here undoubtedly the Manor House stood. On 
the south of this site, a few rods distant, is the old well of 
the Manor ; and eight or ten rods on the north is the rest- 
ing place of those who first sank beneath the toils and pri- 
vations incident to emigration to a new country. 

This first cemetery of the white man in New Hampshire 
occupies a space of perhaps 100 feet by GO, and is well 
walled in. The western side is now used as a burial place 
for the family, but two-thirds of it is filled with perhaps 
forty graves, indicated by rough head and foot stones. 
Who there rests no one now living knows. But the same 
care is taken of their quiet beds as if they were of the pro- 
prietor's own family. Large trees have grown up there — 
one of them, an ancient walnut, springs from over one of 
the graves. In 1G31 Mason sent over about eighty emi- 
grants, many of whom died in a few years, and here they 
were probably buried. Here too doubtless rest the re- 
mains of several of those whose names stand conspicuous 
in our early State records. 

" History numbers here 
Some names and scenes to long reniembrauce dear, 
And summer verdure clothes the lowly breast 
Of the small hillock where our fathers rest. 
Theirs was tlio dauntless heart, tlic hand, the voice, 
That bade the desert blossom and rejoice; 



38 RAMBLES ABOUT •PORTSMOUTH. 

Tlieir restless toiJ subdued the savage earth, 

And called a nation into glorious birtli ; 

Their living floods with tides extending still, 

Poured o'er the vales and climbed the highest hills; 

And now the cottage that o'erlooks the scene 

Of 1 outhful revels on the village green ; 

The laughing Eelds where earliest verdure springs, 

And Nature glories in the gifts she brings; 

The flocks that gather in the peaceful shade, 

Where once the deer in careless freedom played, 

Tbe spires that redden in the rising sun — 

All these will tell you what their hands have done.'' 

Were tliere a locality of similar historic interest north 
of the White Moontains, many an annual pilgrimage it 
would receive, its locality would be designated by some 
enduring monument, and a pebble from the first cemetery 
would be treasured as a mantel curiosity. But now, within 
a pleasant foot ramble, it is rarely visited, and seems to be 
almost unknown. When will some proper Monument be 
erected to identify the spot, and secure to posterity a 
locality which will with years increase in interest ? 



RAMBLE LXXXVI. 



jVIarcLuis de Chastellixx's "\^isit in. IT'SS — French, inieet — 
"V^ie-vvs oif I*ortsiTioutla, &c. 

The year 1782 was noted locally as that in which the 
French fleet laid in our harbor. AVe have already in pre- 
vious rambles given a record of some of the events which 
occurred, and now present a few more sketches, mainly 
gathered from the account the Marquis de Chastellux gave 
of his visit to Portsmouth while the fleet was lying in our 
harbor. The Marquis was a Major-General in the French 
army, serving under the Count de Rochambeau, with whom 
he came from France to this country in 1780. In 1782, in 
November, having some leisure, he left Hartford on a visit 



MAEQUIS DE CHASTELLUX's VISIT. 39 

to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His route brought 
him through Andover, Haverhill and Exeter. He speaks 
highly of the general appearance of the latter town, and 
goes on to say : — 

" We stopped at a very handsome inn kept by Mr. Ruspert, 
■which we quitted at half past two ; and though we rode 
very fast, night was coming on when we reached Ports- 
mouth. The road from Exeter is very hilly. We passed 
through Greenland, a very populous township, composed 
of well built houses. Cattle here are abundant, but not so 
handsome as in Connecticut, and the state of Massachusetts. 
They are dispersed over fine meadows, and it is a beautiful 
sight to see them collected near their hovels in the evening. 
This country presents, in every respect, the picture of 
abundance and of happiness. The road from Greenland to 
Portsmouth is wide and beautiful, interspersed with habita- 
tions, so that these two townships almost touch. I alighted ' 
at Mr. Brewster's, where I was well lodged ; he seemed to 
me a respectable man, and much attached to his country. 

'^In the morning of the 10th of Nov. I went to pay a visit 
to Mr. Albert de Rioms, captain of the Pluto, who had a 
house on shore, where he resided for his health ; he invited 
me to dinner, which he advised^me to accept, as the Comte 
de Vaudreuil was in great confusion on board his ship, the 
mizzen-mast , of which had been struck by lightning five 
days before, and which penetrated to his first battery; but 
he offered me his boat to carry me on board the Auguste. 
In returning for my cloak, I happened to pass by the meeting, 
precisely at the time of service, and had the curiosity to 
enter, where I remained above half an hour, that I might 
not interrupt the preacher, and to show my respect for the 
assembly ; the audience were not numerous on account of 
the severe cold, but I saw some handsome women, elegantly 
dressed. Mr. Buckminister, a young minister, spoke with 
a great deal of grace, and reasonably enough for apre,acher. 



40 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

I could not help admiring the address with which he 
introduced politics into his sermon, by comparing the 
christians redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, but still 
compelled to fight against the flesh and sin, to the thirteen 
United States, who, notwithstanding they have acquired 
liberty, and independence, are under the necessity of 
employing all their force to combat a formidable power, 
and to preserve those invaluable treasures. It was near 
twelve when I embarked in Mr. Albert's boat, and saw on 
the left, near the little Island of Ivising Castle, the America, 
(the ship given by Congress to tlje King of France,) which 
had been just launched, and appeared to mo a fine ship. I 
left on the right the Isle of Washington, on which stands a 
fort of that name. It is built in the form of a star, the 
parapets of which are supported by stakes, and was not 
finished. Then leaving Newcastle on the right, and Kit- 
tery on the left, we arrived at the anchoring ground, within 
the first pass. I found Mr. Vaudreuil on board, who pre- 
sented me to the officers of his ship, and afterwards to 
those of the detachment of the army, among whom were 
three officers of my former regiment of Guienne, at present 
called Viennois. He then took me to see the ravages 
made by the lightning, of which M. de Bire, wdio then 
commanded the ship, M. de Vaudreuil having slept on 
shore, gave me the following account: At half past two 
in the morning, in the midst of a very violent rain, a dread- 
ful explosion was heard suddenly, and the sentinel, who 
was in the gallery, came in a panic into the council cham- 
ber, where he met with M. Bire, who had leaped to the 
foot of his bed, and they were both struck with a strong- 
sulphureous smell. The bell was innnediately rung, and 
the ship examined, when it was found that the mizzen-mast 
was cut short in two, four feet from the forecastle ; that it 
had been lifted in the air, and fallen perpendicularly on the 
quarter-deck, through which it had penetrated, as well as 



MARQUIS DE CHASTELLUX'S VISIT. 41 

tlie second battery. Two sailors were crushed by its fall, 
two others, who never conid be found, had doubtless been 
thrown into the sea by the commotion, and several wero 
wounded. 

"At one o'clock we returned on shore to dine with M. 
Albert de Rioras, and our fellow guests were M. de Bire, 
who acted as fiag captain, though but a lieutenant ; M. de 
Mortegues, who formerly commanded the Magnifique (lost 
at the same period at Level's Island in Boston harbor) and 
was destined to the command of the America; M. deSiber, 
lieutenant en pied of the Pluto; M. d'Hizeures, captain of 
the regiment of the Viennois, &c. After dinner we went 
to drink tea with Mr. Langdon. He is a handsome man, 
and of noble carriage ; he has been a member of Congress, 
and is now one of the first people of the country ; his 
house is elegant and well furnished, and the apartments 
admirably well wainscotted : he has a good manuscript chart 
of the harbor of Portsmouth. Mrs. Langdon, his wife, is 
young, fair, and tolerably handsome, but I conversed less 
with her than with her husband, in whose favor I was pre- 
judiced, from knowing that he had displayed great courage 
and patriotism at the time of Burgoyne's expedition. 

" On leaving Mr. Langdon's, we went to pay a visit to Col. 
"Wentworth, who is respected in this country, not only 
from his being of the same family with Lord Rockingham, 
but from his general acknowledged character for probity 
and talents. He conducted the naval department at Ports- 
mouth, and our officers are never weary in his commenda- 
tion. From Mr. Wentworth's, M. de Vaudreuil and M. de 
Eioms took me to Mrs. Whipple's, a widow lady, who is, I 
believe, sister-in-law to General Whipple ; she is neither 
young nor handsome, but appeared to me to have a good 
understanding, and gaiety. She is educating one of hei* 
nieces, only fourteen years old, who is already charming, 
Mrs. Whipple's house, as well as that of Mr. Wentworth's, 
4 



42 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

and all those I saw at Portsmouth, are very handsome and 
well furnished. 

"I proposed, on the morning of the 11th, to make a tour 
among the islands in the harbor; but some snow having 
fallen, and the weather being by no means inviting, I con- 
tented myself with paying visits to some officers of the 
navy, and among others to the Count de Yaudreuil, who 
had slept on shore the preceding night ; after which we 
again met at dinner at Mr. Albert's, a point of union which 
was always agreeable. After dinner, we again drank tea at 
Mr. Langdon's, and then paid a visit to Dr. Brackett, an 
esteemed physician of the country, and afterwards to Mr. 
Thompson. The latter was born in England ; he is a good 
seaman, and an excellent ship-builder, and is besides a sen- 
sible man, greatly attached to his new country, which it is 
only fifteen years since he adopted. His wife is an Ameri- 
can, and pleases by her countenance, but still more by her 
amiable and polite behavior. We finished the evening at 
Mr. Wentworth's, where the Count de Yaudreuil lodged; 
he gave us a very handsome supper, without cei'emony, 
during which the conversation was gay and agreeable. 

''The 12th I set out, after taking leave of M. de Vaudreurl, 
whom I met as he was coming to call on me, and it was 
certainly with the greatest sincerity that I testified to him 
my sense of the polite manner in which I had been received 
by him, and by the ofiicers under his command. 

" The following are the ideas which I had an opportunity 
of acquiring relative to the town of Portsmouth. It was 
in a pretty flourishing state before the war, and carried on 
the trade of ship-timber, and salt fish. It is easy to con- 
ceive that this commerce must have greatly suffered since 
the commencement of the troubles, but notwithstanding, 
Portsmouth is, perhaps, of all the American towns, that 
which will gain the most by the present war. There is 
:every appearance of its becoming to A^eii'-England, what 



MAilQUIS DE CHASTELLUX'S VISIT. 43 

the other Portsmouth is to the Old: that is to say, that this 
place will be made choice of as the depot of the continen- 
tal marine. The access to the harbor is easy, the road im- 
mense, and there are seven fathoms water as far up as two 
miles above the town ; add to this, that notwithstanding its 
northern situation, the harbor of Portsmouth is never fro- 
zen, an advantage arising from the rapidity of the current. 

'' When I was at Portsmouth the necessaries of life were 
very dear, owing to the great drought of the preceding 
summer. Wheat cost two dollars a bushel, (of sixty pounds 
weight) oats almost as much, and Indian corn was extreme- 
ly scarce. I shall hardly be believed when I say, that I 
paid eight livres ten sols (about seven shillings and three- 
pence) a day for each horse. Butcher's meat only was 
cheap, selling at two-pence-halfpenny a pound. That part 
of New Hampshire bordering on the coast is not fertile ; 
there are good lands at forty or fifty miles distance from 
the sea, but the expense of carriage greatly augments the 
price of articles, when sold in more inhabited parts. As 
for the value of landed property, it is dear enough for so 
new a country. Mr. Ruspert, my landlord at Exeter, paid 
seventy pounds currency per annum, (at eighteen livres or 
fifteen shillings the pound) for his inn. Lands sell at from 
ten to sixteen dollars an acre. The country produces little 
fruit, and the cider is indifferent. 

" The road from Portsmouth to Newbury passes through 
a barren country* Hampton is the only township you 
meet with, and there are not such handsome houses there 
as at Greenland." 

Col. Wm. Brewster at that time kept the Bell Tavern. 
Here the Marquis lodged. Mr. Albert's abode was proba- 
bly at Mrs. Richard Shortridge's boarding house, where 
some of the officers of the fleet, among them Yaudreuil, 
boarded. This boarding-house was in Deer street : the 
house, remodelled, was long the residence of the late Peter 



44 RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

Jenness and his family. Richard S. is the same individual 
who was impressed by arrangement of Gov. Benning Went- 
worth, with the hopes of obtaining his wife, as related in 
the 17tli Eamble. Shortridge received a commission in 
the Revolutionary army, and died before the close of the 
war, somewhere in the vicinity of Lakft Champlain, when 
returning from an expedition to Canada. He left three 
sons, Richard, Samuel and John. John H. Shortridge, who 
afterwards occupied the same house, was of another family. 

It is said by those who have a knowledge of the fact, 
that the ofScers of high grade of the French fleet were in- 
dustrious, and had their knitting-work ready to take in 
hand when in their boarding-houses. They knit silk gloves, 
which were bestowed as presents on the ladies. 

In Ramble No. 50, an account was given of the murder 
of a Frenchman which gave name to " Frenchman's Lane." 
Since that was written we find a minute entered in a manu- 
script Register kept at the time by Dr. Brackett, (who is 
mentioned by the Marquis in the sketch given in this Ram- 
ble,) at the date of Oct. 23, 1778, as follows: 

''John Dushan, a French-Man, was found murdered at the 
creek, hav'g his throat cutt, & robed, by night." 

By this it appears that the murder of the Frenchman 
was four years previous to the visit of the French fleet — 
the recollection of the old gentleman who gave the account 
being thus much at fault. 



RAMBLE LXXXVIL 

Sketch of JrTenj'y Slierb-ai-ne and Descendants. 

Richard Sherburne, of Stoneyhurst, with others of the 
nobility and gentry, was called upon in the year 1543 to 
furnish his quota of men and arms against the Scotch, un- 



THE SHERBURNE FAMILY. 45 

der the Duke of Somerset, and was knighted on 11th May, 
1544, then 22 years old. 

Sir Richard married Maud, the fifth child of Sir Eichard 
Bold, Knight of Bold, in the time of Henry VIII., by his 
wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Butler, Knight of 
Bewsey. 

Sir Richard Sherburne, probably son of first Sir Richard, 
died in prison Aug. 6th, 1589, and was succeeded by his 
son Richard, who married Anne, daughter of John Cow- 
field, Esq. ; and dying without issue, the princely mansion 
of Stoneyhnrst and the many mansions and lordships 
appertaining to it, devolved on his brother, Sir Nicholas 
Sherburne, Bart., who married Catherine, daughter and co- 
heiress of Sir Edward Charlton, of Wesley Tidehaust, and 
had three children : Catherine, who died an infant ; Eichard 
Francis, born 1693 and died 1703; also Mary Winnefrida 
Francisca, who married Thomas, eighth Duke of Norfolk, 
and at his death married the Hon. Peregrine Middleton, 
but had no issue by either marriage. Sir Nicholas Sher- 
burne died in 1718, bequeathing his large estates to his 
only surviving child, Mary, Duchess of Norfolk, who dying 
in 1754, all their estates were bequeathed conditionally 
(that no other heirs were living to claim the estates) to 
the issue of Elizabeth Weld, her aunt, sister of the deceased 
Baronet. 

Such is the family in England from which it is said the 
Sherburnes in Portsmouth descended ; but the connecting 
link for a generation we have not at hand. We find Henry 
Sherburne in the company which came to Portsmouth with 
the early settlers in 1631. He married Rebecca, the only 
daughter of Ambros Gibbins, who was of that company. 
Henry died in 1680. His wife died in 1667. The cbiklreii 
of Henry Sherburne were Samuel and Elizabeth, twins, 
born 1638 ; MavTj, in 1640 ; Henrij, in 1642 ; John, in 1647 ; 
Ambros, in 1649 ; Sarah, in 1651 ; Rebecca^ in 1654 ; Rachel, 



46 RAMBLES ABOtFT PORTSMOUTH. 

in 1G56 ; Martha, in 1G57 ; Rath, born in 16G0, and married 
Aaron Moses, 1G77. 

Elizabeth married Tobias Langdon in 1656 ; their son 
Honor (Onner) Langdon was born in 1664. Tobias L. 
died in 1664, and in 1667 bis widow married Tobias Lear, 
and in 1669 their daughter Ehzabeth Lear was born. She 
probably had other children by each marriage. 

Mary married Richard Sloper. He died in 1716, aged 
85 ; and she in 1718, aged 78. Their children were Bridget, 
born in 1659, (married John Knight) ; John, in 1661 ; Mary, 
in 1663 ; Sarah, in 16G7 ; Susannah, in 1669 ; Ehzabeth, in 
1671; Rebecca, in 1673; Martha, in 1676, Tabitha, in 
1679; Richard and Henry, twins, in 1682; Ambros, in 
1684. 

Henry Sherburne, grandson of the first Henry, but by 
which son we know not, AVas born in 1674, and was married 
to Dorothy Wentwortb, born in 1680, sister of the first 
Gov. John. Henry Sherburne's house was at the head of 
the Pier, on the corner of State and Water streets, next 
the spot now occupied by the stone yard. It was of two 
stories and probably the first brick house built in Ports- 
mouth. ]?*or many years previous to its destruction by fire 
in 1813, it was a public house, known as '' the Portsmouth. 
Hotel." He was a Provincial Councillor, and died in 1757, 
at the age of 83. His wife died in 1754, aged 74. 

Henry Sherburne, son of the above, was born in 1709, 
and graduated at Harvard in 1728. In 1740 he married 
Sarah Warner, daughter of Daniel. He was for ten years 
after 1728 Clerk of the Court. He was a Selectman, 
Representative, and Provincial Councillor. He was also a 
member of the Colonial Congress held at Albany in 1754; 
and a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1765. He 
occupied his father's mansion, and died there in 1767. He 
had eight sons and five daughters : — Henry, Daniel, Samuel, 
Nathaniel, Jonathan, Edward, Richard, Andrew, Sarah, (the 



THE SHERBURNE FAMILY. 47 

wife of Woodbury Langdon), Hannah (the wife of Samuel 
Penhallow), Dorothy (the wife of John AVendell), Mary 
and Margaret. 

Samuel Sherburne, whose will follows, (a brother of 
Henry) died in 17G5, unmarried. He was the owner of 
the estate in North Portsmouth where the Misses Sherburne 
(the daughters of Col. Samuel) now live. That with other 
valuable property he gave to his nephew, who bore his 
name. 

SAMUEL SHERBURNE S WILL. 

In the name of God, Amen. — I, Samuel Sherburne, of 
Portsmouth, in the Province of New Hampshire in New 
England, Esquire, being affected with bodily pain and 
indisposition, though at present of a perfect mind and 
memory, blessed be God therefor, do ordain this as my 
last Will and Testament, as follows : Eirst, I give back my 
immortal soul to the Almighty Giver thereof, hoping he 
will through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ my 
Redeemer, be graciously pleased to accept it. My body I 
desire may be entombed near the south-easterly corner of 
the Queen's Chapel, in Portsmouth, in a decent, but not 
extravagant manner ; which unnecessary expense I disap- 
prove of. Then as touching the worldly estate which God 
in his providence has been pleased to bestow upon me, I 
hereby settle and dispose of as follows, viz : 

Imprimis. — I direct that all my just debts and funeral 
charges be paid as soon as may be conveniently done by 
my Executors herein hereafter named in this my will. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to the Church of England 
as by law established in the town of Portsmouth and prov- 
ince aforesaid, <£2000 of the present value of old Tenor, so 
called, to be under the care and direction of the Vestry 
and Church Wardens of the Queen's Chapel in said town 
for the time being ; and this I give for a perpetual fund for 
that end, and the interest and income of the same to be 
appropriated and expended if necessary, for the support of 
an organist in said Cliurch or Parish, without any diminu- 
tion of the principal sura. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to the said Church or Chapel 



48 EA>MBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

my moiety or half part of a pasture or lot of Land and 
meacloAv, supposed in the whole twelve acres more or less, 
situated in Portsmouth aforesaid and lying on the southerly 
or south-easterly side of the higlnvay leading- from the Hay 
market to Wibird's Hill, so called, which said Tract was 
given me by my honored father in his last will and testa- 
ment ; and this bequest to be under the direction of the 
Church Wardens of said Parish for the time being and to 
remain a perpetual glebe to the said Church and Parish and 
their successors forever. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to tlie said Church or Chapel 
my lot of land in Portsmouth which I bought of George 
Allmary, bounded and described as per his deed will ap- 
pear, to be under the care and direction of the Church 
Wardens and Vestry as above mentioned ; and this I intend 
as a place to build a school house upon, to have and to 
hold the same to the Church Wardens and Vestry for the 
time being forever. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to my sister Ann Langdon 
during her natural life the interest or income of £2000 old 
tenor, to be paid to her annually by my Executors hereafter 
ill this Will mentioned ; and after her .decease my Will is 
and I hereby give and bequeath the said principal sum of 
£2000 to the Church of England aforesaid, to be added to 
the two thousand pounds old tenor bequeathed to said 
parish in this my will above, and to beheld and applied and 
improved and disposed of as in and by this my Will and 
Testament. The above legacy (to the. Church) of two 
thousand pounds is mentioned to be applied and improved. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to my said sister Ann 
Langdon, four pair linen sheets, also a pair of half pint 
silver cans, also one dozen China plates and three Dishes, 
all blue and white. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to Mrs. Lydia Cutt during 
her mitural life the Interest and income of fifteen hundred 
pounds old tenor, to be annually paid her by my Executors : 
and after her decease I give and bequeath the said principal 
sum of fifteen hundred pounds old tenor to the above 
mentioned Church of England in Portsmouth, to be held 
and improved as in and l)v this my Will, the money legacies 
to the said Cliurch is directed and mentioned. 



BAMIJEL SHEEBUENE's WILL. 49 

Item. — I give and bequeatb to the said Lydia Cutt four 
pair linen and four pair cotton sheets, and one dozen China 
plates and three dishes, blue and white ; I also give her one 
of my silver cans which holds about two-thirds of a pint. 

Item, — I give to the children of my sister Dorothy 
Oilman deceased, and to be paid by my Executors, viz : to 
Christopher Rymes, Nathaniel Rogers and Dorothy Tajdor, 
each two hundred pounds old tenor ; I also give and be- 
queath to Nancy Barrel, grand child of my said sister, tAvo 
hundred pounds old tenor — these legacies to be paid to 
the minors when they come of age. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to ^Mrs. Hannah Atkinson, 
one pair of silver butter boats, so called. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to Mrs. Sarah Jaffrey my 
silver tea kettle, lamp and stand. 

Item. — I give and bequeath Gregory Purcel, Esq., and 
to his heirs and assigns forever, a tract of land of about 
one hundred acres, more or less, situated in Nottingham in 
this Province, near or adjacent to the estate of Joshua 
Peirce, Esq., deceased, and is that tract I bought of Mr. 
Coffin of Newbury. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to Mrs. Rebecca Wentworth, 
daughter of John Wentworth of Portsmouth, one hundred 
pounds old tenor. 

Item. — 1 give and bequeath to the Rev. Mr. Arthur 
Brown, two hundred pounds old tenor. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to IMiss Hannah Jackson, 
daughter of Elisha Jackson late of Portsmouth, deceased, 
one hundred pounds old tenor, and paid by my executors 
when she comes of age. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to Mr. Thomas Odiorne of 
Exeter in this Province, merchant, three hundred pounds 
old tenor, to be paid him by my Executors hereafter men- 
tioned. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to Peter Gilman of Exeter, 
in this Province, Esquire, three hundred pounds old tenor, 
to be paid by my Executors hereafter mentioned. 

Item. — I give and bequeath to my nephew Samuel Sher- 
burne, Esq., all the residue of my Estate, both real and 
personal, of what kind or nature soever, to have and to 



50 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

hold to liim the said Samuel and to his heirs and assigns 
forever. 

Lastly. — I do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint 
Theodore Atkinson and Hunking Wentworth, both of 
Portsmouth in the Province of New Hampshire aforesaid, 
Esquires, to be the Executors of this my last will and tes- 
tament, herebv impowering to see the same duly executed 
according to the intent and design thereof In testimony 
■whereof I have signed and sealed the same. Done at 
Portsmouth this fifth day of February, Anno Domini one 
thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, 1765. 

vSAMUEL SHERBURNE, [l.s.] 

In presence of Theodore Atkinson, jr. 

Samuel Hale, Joseph Bass. 

This Will was proved 18th day of Feb. 1765. 

Edward Sherburne, one of the sons of the Hon. Henry 
Sherburne, at the commencement of hostilities in the rev- 
olutionary war repaired to Cambridge and entered as a 
volunteer in the service of his country at his own expense. 
Soon after he became Aid to G-eneral Suhivan. At the 
evacuation of Boston, the army being ordered by General 
Washington to New York, he proceeded thither at his own 
expense, and was in all the battles in New Jersey. When 
the army evacuated New York in consequence of the 
enemy taking possession, the army was ordered to Phila- 
delphia. At the battle of Germantown he was severely 
wounded. While carrying orders in front of both armies 
he received the wound of which he died. The General 
commended him much for his bravery, and said much to his 
family in praise of his general character. He spent most 
of his property in the service. 

There are several other branches of the first Sherburne 
family of Portsmouth — from one of which Judge John 
S. Sherburne descended — from another the late Col John 
N. Sherburne descended — and from another the late Joseph 



SHERBURNE FAMILY. 51 

Sherburne of the Plains descended. TVe have not the data 
to give a more connected genealogy of a family, which, if 
any of them come into the possession of the property in 
England awaiting an heir, will become the richest in Xew 
Hampshire. 

We copy the following, verbatim, from a handsomely 
written old family record on parchment, by Mrs. Mary 
Sloper, who died one hundred and fifty-one years ago. 
The closing lines, recording her death, were added by 
another hand. The several families named were located 
between Sagamore Creek and the Plains. There are 
doubtless many families in Portsmouth which can be 
traced back to the early residents who are recorded 
below. In 1693, we see Lieut. Sloper and Capt. Nele were 
honored by having places assigned them in the second seats 
in front of the minister. Ambros Gibbins, it will be recol- 
lected, was the Assistant Governor in 1840. 

An Acc't of the Birth, Marriage and Death of my Father 
and Mother, and other relatives ; my husband's birth and 
mine, the year we was married, and the Births of our 
Children. 

]\[y Father Henry Sherborne and my mother Pebekah 
was married the IStli November, 1637. My father Henry 
Sherborne died about the year '80 or '83. His death we 
was not sensible of. 

My brother John Sherborne was born the 3d of April 
1617 and was Baptised at Newbury the 4th of OctolDer 
1657. Sarah Sherborne was borne the 10th January 1651 ; 
and was Baptised at Hampton by Mr, Cotton. Pebekah 
Sherborne, 26th Aprill 1654, but was not Baptised. Rachel 
Sherborne was borne April the 4th, 1656, but not Baptised 
— dyed the 28th December, 1656. 

My husband Richard Sloper, was borne November 1630. 
We was married the 21st October, 1658. 

My mother Pebekah Sherborne, dyed the 3d June 1667 
about noon, and was buried by four of her children. 
Tobias Langdou dyed the 27th July 1664, and was buried 



-2 RAMBLES ABOUT P0RTS5;0UTn. 

Y his children. Martha Sherborne dyed the 11th No- 

miber, 1658. 

My grandmother EHzabeth Gibbins dyed the 14th May, 
1655. My grandfather Ambros Gibbins, dyed the 1st July, 
1G56. 

Elizabeth Sherborne was married to Tobias Langdon the 
10th of June 1G56. Onner Langdon was borne the 30th 
April 1664. Elizabeth Langdon was married unto Tobias 
Lear the 11th April 1667. Elizabeth Lear was born the 
1st Feb. 1669. 

Martha Sherborne was born the 4th December, 1 657. Re- 
bekah Sherborne dyed the 29th June 1696, aged 43 years. 
Ambros Sherborne was borne 3d August, 1649, and baptized 
at Newbury. Elizabeth Sherborne was borne 4th August 
1638, baptised by Mr. Gibson. Mary Sherborne was borne 
the 20th Novemloer 1640, baptised by Mr, Gibson. Henry 
Sherborne was borne 21st January, 1642 — went to sea in 
'58 with Solomon Clark, and coming home the lOtli July, 
1659, dyed at Sea and was buried in the Sea. Ruth Sher- 
borne was borne of Sunday 3d of June 1660. Samuel 
Sherborne was married to Love 15th December 1668. 

-Bridget Sloper was borne 30th August 1659. — John 
Sloper was borne 13tli January 1661, being Sabbath day. 
Mary Sloper* was borne on Tuesday, the 11th Feb. 1663. 
Sarah Sloper was borne of Thursday the 26th July, 1667. 
Susanna Sloper was borne of Tuesday the 21st March, 
1669. Elizabeth Sloper was borne the 26th June, 1671, 
•being Friday. Rebeckah Sloper was borne AVednesday 23d 
October 1673. Martha Sloper was born of Monday the 
26th December 1676. Tabitha Sloper was borne 17th De- 
cember 1679. Richard and Henry Sloper was borne of 
Thursday 19th June 1682. Ambros Sloper was borne 20th 
January 1684. 

Bridget Sloper was married unto John Knight 29th 
March 1684. Elizabeth Knight was borne of Saturday 8th 
July, 1687. John Knight was borne 29th January, 1684. 

Richard Sloper deceased October 16, 1716. 

Mary Sloper, [the writer of the above record,] wife of 
Richard Sloper, deceased Sept. 22, 1718. 

* She married >Fohn Brewster, jr., and -was scalped by the Indians at the Plains in 1696. 



LANGDON FAMILY. 53 

RAMBLE LXXXVIII. 

Langclon. and Slierburne Fainilies. 

At the request of the Rambler, the following fomily 
sketch has been prepared by one of the descendants of 
Gov. Langdon : 

The earliest English settlers to which the Langdons of 
Witch Creek (or Sagamore Creek) go back, are Ambrose 
Gibbon and his wife : where in England lived Gibbon, Gib- 
bons, Gibbens or Gibbins, for they spell his name any way, 
(who was the leading servant of Captain John Mason hero 
after Mr. Francis Williams,) we cannot say : his name is in 
English books of heraldry spelled all four ways, alsp Gib- 
bines and Gibbings, all with mostly the same arms : but wo 
don't think our revered forefather knew much about his 
rightful armorial bearings. He was, it is like, the uncle or 
elder brother of Edward Gibbon of the Bay, a distinguished 
candlestick of the Bay puritans, but first was jailed by En- 
dicot for the maypole business, with others from Gorges's 
country. This Edward is the hero of a long story of Win- 
throp and Mather's, by which we find that he had lived 
many years in Piscataway, and was a bosom friend, partner 
it is like, of a French protestant gulf cruiser of Santo Do- 
mingo and Piscataway, already on the seas, whose descend- 
ants are still, we think, amongst us, and write their names 
yet Petgru or Pettigrew. There was also a James Gib- 
bins of Saco in Gorges's country ^ it is like, one of the 
same lot. 

Ambrose's daughter, Rebecca Gibbon, married Henry 
Sherburne, one of his companions, and was the mother of 
Elizabeth Sherburne ; afterwards Elizabeth Langdon, Eliza- 
beth Lear and Elizabeth Martyn ; for she had at least three 
husbands. But before saying more of her, we will speak 
of a Sherburne claim that is spoken of in the newspapers. 



54 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

As we undertand it, it is to the estates in the counties 
tof York and Lancaster, of the very ancient house of the 
Sherburnes of Stonihurst, always papists, and internaarried 
with leading papist families in England ; the last baronet, 
Sir Nicholas Sherburne, dying in 1714: when they are un- 
derstood to have gone to his only child, the Duchess of 
Norfolk, she and the duke papists, and at her death to the 
heirs of her father's sister, in 1754, she having no children 
to take them, which heirs are still the Welds of Lulworth 
Castle, county of Dorset, always papists, of which one was 
the late well known Cardinal Weld. These estates are to 
be claimed through Henry Sherburne of Piscataway, who 
must have been born not long after Queen Elizabeth died. 

The then lord of Stonihurst Avas Eichard Sherburne, 
who married into a noble family. Now we have first to 
show beyond all cavil in a court of law that Henry Sher- 
burne of Piscataway was the heir of this Eichard, or some 
still earlier Sherburnes, if he or they had no descendants of 
their own that could take ; which would be hard, for Eich- 
ard Sherburne died a good deal more than two hundred 
years ago : next also beyond all cavil in a court of law that 
they have not left a single descendant in all that long while, 
before we can look for the revered Henry to help us out. 
After all, then, we have to look up his male line, or else we 
can't get the Welds out to save our souls. His eldest son, 
Samuel, was killed by the Indians in Maine in 1691 : then an 
old man. Henry, said to be the eldest son of Samuel, mar- 
ried Dorothy Wentworth, and had three sons, Henry, Sam'l, 
John, as we understand: Henry Sherburne, the last one, 
had a good many children, and we believe Colonel Samuel 
Sherburne of North Portsmouth, commonly called of Chris- 
tian Shore, was his eldest son ; he had a son Henry we 
think, who may have left another, which we do not know. 
The whole estates can only go to one heir, if we can 
^et the Welds and the Jesuits out of Stonihurst : and though 



SHEEBURNE AND LAXGDON FAMILIES. 55 

Henry was so perseveringly their leading christian name 
here, it is only found once in a great many Sherburnes of 
Stonihurst. The estates went rightfully to the heirs of 
Maria Winifreda Francisca Sherburne, duchess ofXorfolk, 
(here is a sounding name for the magazines,) and we can't 
drive them off. 

There is a certain enticing plausibility to the business in 
the extreme possibility that Henry Sherburne of Piscataway 
may have been a papist : he was the church-warden of our 
church of England chapel, 1640, spoken of by Winthrop, 
broken up by the Bay puritans, the document about which is 
the only thing, if we remember rightly, left of our early 
town records, which were burnt by the Bay puritans in the 
civil wars, when they re-annexed Maine and Xew Hampshire 
to their empire : it would look as if he turned puritan though, 
in the civil wars, and went to meeting, and wouldn't again 
^fter the king was brought back. His son-in-law, Tobias 
Langdon, is said to be of the ancient house of the Lang- 
dons of Keverel in Cornwall, near Saint German's, which 
<vhether he was we cannot say, but his son didn't call 
either of his seven sons by the family name of Walter. 
The antiquity of those Langdons is indisputable, whose 
lame at the conquest was the Cornish one of Lizard : for 
Jarew of Anthony, the poet and scholar, speaks of them 
IS his neighbors of ancient lineage, rather gone to decay in 
,he days of Elizabeth, That they may have continued 
papists very late may be too, for a Walter Langdon of 
Keverel was fined on his estate during the rebellion, taken 
in arms for the king, when he and other gentlemen of the 
county held out with their wives and children in Pendenis 
Castle under an Arundel of Trerice, one of the heroic 
actions of the civil wars. This Cornish Arundel was not 
an open papist, but the other great Cornish Arundels of Lan- 
hearne, as the lords Arundel of Wardour, are still, the lords 
Arundel of Trerice being gone. Arundel and Sherburne 



56 RAMBLES "about PORTSMOUTH. 

are both papist names, and the eldest of a Sir John Whyd- 
don, also from the same corner of England, a justice in 
special favor with the bloody Mary, married the heiress of 
Langdon of Keverel. There was also a Langdon sent 
here, to New York we believe, by the papist James the 
second. And as the second Tobias Langdon got his com- 
mission of ensign from James, it may be, as he was very 
young, that it was that the name may not have escaped the 
loyal ears of Sir Edmund Andross, James's governor of 
New England. There is a possibility that Henry Sherburne 
of Piscataway may have been a papist, and a distant re- 
lation of the great papist Sherburnes of the North, but 
there isn't any, we think, that his male line in the States will 
ever get their estates. 

One of Henry Sherburne's daughters married with a 
Sloper, a race gone from here in the male line, but their 
cellars and gravestones are left on Sloper's hill and Sloper's 
plain. Another, Elizabeth, married the young Mr. Tobias 
Langdon, who died early ; next, Tobias Lear, the ancestor 
of General Washington's Tobias Lear — the Lears lived on 
the eastern side of the Langdons, and the Slopers on the 
west, all now in one farm — and next she married Mr. 
Bichard Martyn. 

By Tobias Langdon she had four children: Tobias, 
Elizabeth, who married with a Fernald, and Honour with a 
Laighton, both in Kittery, and Margaret with a Morrel. 

Captain Tobias Langdon, her son, who is buried in .his 
field, married Mary Hubbard of Salisbury in the Bay, and 
they had at least nine children ; that is they had, if we re- 
member, three sons-in-law, Bampfylde, Peirce and Shapleigh, 
all very ancient west country names ; and they had seven 
sons : their eldest son Tobias, we do not know what became 
of him: Richard, their second, born 1694, lived and died at 
Newton on Long Island, and has descendants both in England 
and here, of very good standing in the world : some of them 



LANGDON FAMILY. 57 

were royalists and went home, but Capt. Joshua Sands, once 
written Sandys, of the American navy, who knows all about 
them, is his great grandson. Joseph, their third son, lived 
near Witch Creek, and has two or three hundred descend- 
ants, though hardly any named Langdon, some of them at 
least the eleventh generation of English colonists at Witch 
Creek, counting Gibbon and his Avife for the first : Mark, 
the fourth son, was a tanner at the south end : Samuel, 
their fifth son, married with a Jenness in the south part of 
Eye, where his gravestone is by the road, and died there 
young, of the locked jaw, a making shingles : AVilliam was a 
tanner at the north end, their sixth son; and his son William, 
also a tanner, many people remember, a very good look- 
ing, and a very worthy man. John, their seventh son, lived 
and died on the homestead. He married Mary Hall of 
Exeter, her mother a Woodbury of Beverly, her father the 
son of Kinsley Hall of Exeter and Elizabeth Dudley, the 
daughter of Samuel Dudley, who has numberless descend- 
ants in New Hampshire, who was the eldest son of the 
great puritan Thomas Dudley of the Bay. 

John and Mary Langdon had six children, Mary Langdon, 
Woodbury Langdon, John Langdon, Elizabeth Langdon, 
Martha Langdon and Abigail Langdon. Mr. Woodbury 
Langdon and Mr. John Langdon were well known people. 
Mary married three husbands in Maine : Storer, Hill and 
MacCobb ; Elizabeth a Barrel of Portsmouth, a royalist, 
Abigail a Goldthwait of Boston, also a royalist, Martha 
another Barrel, next a Simpson, and lastly Governor James 
Sullivan of Massachusetts Baj. 

5 



58 EAMBLES ABOUT TOETSMOUTH. 

RAMBLE LXXXIX. 

Lafayette Eoacl — Ijangcloia ITainn — Fannily HVIon-ument — 
USTew Ranlv of -A-iiiei-ican. IVobility. 

Before Lafayette road was laid out in 1825, the way to 
NeAvburyport as well as to Rye, Avas over Portsmouth 
Plains. The opening of Lafayette road brought the head 
of Sagamore Creek more directly in contact with the city, 
and within a pleasant walk of Market Square, The head of 
this Creek on the south side is noted as the locality where 
the Langdon family first settled, over two hundred years 
ago, — and from the family that farm has never been alien- 
ated. The seat of the first Tobias Langdon has descended 
to the sixth generation and is now owned by Hon. John 
Langdon Elwyn, grandson of late Gov. John Langdon who 
was there born. 

On the north side of the same Creek, bounded on La- 
fayette road, is the farm of Samuel . Langdon, Esq., a 
descendant of the first Tobias Langdon, also of the Gth 
generation, being the son of Maj. Samuel Langdon, who 
died in 1834 at the age-of 81, as reported in the inscription 
beloAv. 

The farm of Samuel L. extends from the South road to 
the Creek, and contains about 150 acres. The house is of 
good size, and does not on the outside shoAv marks of its 
age — but although in excellent preservation inside, in its 
heavy frame projecting into the rooms, it bears marks of 
having been built more than a century and a half. It 
was built by Capt. Samuel Banfield about the year 1700. 
In 1743 Banfield died, and the property came into Joseph 
Langdon's possession, and it has ever since remained in 
the family. 

In the rear of the house toAvards the South road, is an 
enclosure for a family burial place, in Avhich is visible to 
every passer-by an elevated monument of Italian marble, 



LAXGDOX FAEM. 59 

erected as a family memorial by the present owner of the 
premises. 

The plinth of the monument rests on a granite base. 
The die, which is surmounted by a frieze and cap. is a 
square block of marble presenting four sides of about 21 
inches in Avidth by 42 in height. Two of the sides are 
plain ; on the other two are the following inscriptions, which 
give a very full genealogical history of the family. The 
monument is from Mr. Philbrick's establishment — the let- 
tering deep and clear, in Mr. Borthwick's best style. 

I. Tobias Langdon, from England, died 1664 ; married 
1656 Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Sherburne, (she after- 
wards m. Tobias Lear,) and had Tobias L., born 1660, died 
Feb. 20, 1725 ; m. in 1686 Mary Hubbard. Elizabeth, m. 
"William Fernald. Oner, m. 1686 John Laighton. Mar" 
garet m. Nicholas Morrel. 

II. Capt. Tobias and Mary Langdon had Mary, born Nov, 
17, 1687, m. George Pierce. Tobias, born Oct. 11, 1689, 
m. 1714 Sarah Winkley. Martha, b. Mch. 7, 1693, m. July 
7, 1715, Nicholas Shapley. Richard, born Apr. 14, 1694, 
m. Thankful , and died at Newton, Long Island. Jo- 
seph, born Feb. 28, 1696, died Aug. 10, 1767, m. Mary, 
daughter of Capt. Sam'l Banfield. She died Aug. 10, 1753, 
aged 49. Mark, born Sept. 15, 1698, died 1776 ; m. 1st 
Mehitable, who died Oct. 7, 1764, aged 63. Samuel, born 
Sept. 6, 1700, died Dec. 2, 1725; m. Hannah Jenness. 
William, born Oct. 30, 1702, died 1766. John, born May 
28, 1707, died Feb. 27, 1780; m. Mary Hall, who died April 
11, 1789, aged 72 yrs. 

III. Capt. Joseph and Mary L. had Samuel, born 1721, died 
1779 ; m. Sept. 29, 1748, Hannah, daughter of John Storer, 
Esq. Wells, Me., who died Sept. 8, 1796, aged 73. Mary, 
born 1725, died Feb. 23, 1807 ; m. Amos Seavey, who died 
Feb. 19, 1807, aged 89. Hannah, mi. James Whidden. 
Elizabeth, died July 14, 1804 ; m. James Seavey. 



60 EAMBLES ABOUT POEXSMOUTH. 

III. Dea. Mark and Meliitabel Langdon Lad Joseplj, born 
1724, died Oct. 30, 1719. 

III. Wm. and Sarah L. had William, born 1748, died Sept. 
30, 1820 ; m. Mary Pickering, who died Feb. 8, 1802, aged 
52. John, born 1748, died mV 21, 1789 ; m. Mary Evans, 
died Mar. 10, 1825, aged 61. Mary ra. Nicholas Pickering. 

III. John Langdon married Mary Hall ; had Mary, 
in. Storer, Hill and McCobb. Judge Woodbury Langdon, 
born 1738, died Jan. 13, 1805 ; m. Sarah Sherburne. Gov. 
John, born 1738, died Sept. 18, 1819 ; m. Elizabeth Sher- 
burne. Elizabeth m. Barrel. Abigail m. Goldthwait. Mar- 
tha, m. Barrel, Simpson and Gov. James Sullivan. 

IV. Cap!. Samuel and Hannah L. had Mary, born April 
16,1751, died 1836 ; m. Joseph White. Maj. Samuel, born 
June 9, 1753, died July 5, 1834; m. Lydia Brewster, 
daughter of Samuel Norris, died May 21, 1840, aged 62. 
Anna born Nov. 3, 1755, died May 24, 1690; m. James 
Whidden. Rev. Joseph L. born May 12, 1758, died July 
27, 1824 ; m. Dec. 9, 1790, Patience Pickering, died April 
8, 1846, aged 88. Elizabeth, born March 18, 1761, died 
1831 ; m. Andrew Sherburne. Hannah, born June, 1766, 
died 1812 ; m. Edward Gove. 

I. Capt. Samuel Banfield died 1743 ; m. Mary Seavey, 
who died 1753, and had Mary, Avho married Capt. Joseph 
Langdon. 

The monument to Mr. Langdon's fomily ancestors is not 
confined to the burial enclosure. Around the sitting room 
of the mansion, displayed under glass in frames, are the mil. 
itary commissions of his fathers for four or five generations, 
signed by Gov. Belcher, Gov. Wentworth, President Weare 
and Gov. Langdon. It is a novel collection, exhibiting 
three various state seals, and showing too, that under the 
crown as well as in Revolutionary times, there never has 
been a lack of military spirit and patriotism at the head of 
Sagamore Creek. 



RANK OF AMERICAN XOBILITY. 61 

It is probable that the royal ancestry of the family very 
nearly corresponds with that of one in the immediate 
neighborhood, which is illustrated by the following true 
story. 

A descendant of one of the earlier families in Ports- 
mouth which resided between Sagamore Creek and Great 
Swamp, was travelling in a stage coach with a stranger who 
found that they both bore the same family name. On 
inquiring for descent, the stranger, of somewhat high 
notions, said he was connected with the family of Sir David 
B., of Scotland. The native of Portsmouth, who thought 
his claims to aristocratic descent no less prominent, replied 
that he was descended from a family of Aldermen. 

^^ Family of Alder men J ^ said the sprig of nobility, "why, 
you must be very ignorant to think that there is any such 
hereditary order — it is only a temporary city ofSce, sir." 

" You are mistaken," was the reply, ''it is an order which 
ranks a little higher than knighthood. My forefathers for 
five generations bore the insignia of their high honors. 
They wore the Aldermen's aprons with as much honors and 
pride as any Knights Templar. Those aprons were no 
fragile silk or linen fabric — tliey were the pure hide, such 
as were used Avhen the ark was constructed ; and the}^ date 
their nobility at as early a day. Perhaps you may yourself 
one day arrive at the honors, and then you will fully com- 
prehend them. These aprons they Avore six days in the 
week — and the ravages they made around Great Swamp 
and Sagamore Creek, are now manifest in the well cleared 
and productive farms of their descendants. Yes, sir, I am 
a regular descendant of the family of Aldermen, and shall 
never lose my aristocratic pride, but wnll endeavor to re- 
spect those who may be of lower rank." 

To be descendants of the Family of Aldermen should be 
the pride of American nobility. Of such was President 
Lincoln. 



02 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

EAMBLE XC. 

A.tlcinson's Silver AVaiter — The Record of 3Death.s in 
3?ort.sinou.tli., — Lady AVeiat-vvortli's 3?ict\are, &;c. 

In the IStli Eamble ^vill be found a reference to the great 
amount of plate owned by Theodore Atkinson. Among 
the articles was a massive silver waiter, which for many 
years decorated his home on Court street, and must have 
been ever before him in his merry moments, as a memento 
morl. This waiter is now owned in the family of Hon, 
Asa Freeman of Dover, where are also the silver knives and 
forks, and other valuables, formerly in the Atkinson family, 
inherited by Mrs. F. from the estate of the last Theodore 
Atkinson, of this city, she being a daughter of ^he late 
Hon, William K. Atkinson, of Pover. 

There are also portraits by Copley, of Hon, Theodore 
Atkinson and his lady, Hannah, the daughter of Lieut, Gov, 
John Wentworth. Not the least valuable in the collection 
(which we recently had the privilege of seeing) are the 
portraits of Theodore Atkinson, Jr, and of his wife, the 
beautiful Frances Deering Wentworth (who in ten days 
after her husband's death marriad Gov, John Wentworth.) 
They were j^ainted in 1763, the year after their marriage. 
Her age was then about nineteen, and Atkinson's about 
twenty-seven. His countenance does not denote much 
force of character, but his russet dress and long embroid- 
ered vest are truly beautiful ; and as a painting, it is u 
piece of superior workmanship. The portrait of his lady 
is by Copley, and is one of his best. Although it has been 
painted a hundred years, it now stands out in all the rich- 
ness of its early days. There are some portions of it which 
have the appearance of small cracks in the paint, Avhich a 
portrait painter a few years ago wished to daub over with 
liis brush : but a close examination of the work shows that 
these marks were carefully made by the painter, and were 



ATKINSON'S SILVER WAITER. 63 

necessary to bring out the display in the back-ground. The 
countenance is handsome, intellectual, full of life, and a 
little roguish. The painting as a work of art has been 
highly valued by connoisseurs, and five hundred dollars 
have been offered for it. 

Bat the silver waiter is more particularly the subject of 
this Ramble. On this waiter are inscribed the names, ages 
and times of death of 48 individuals who were acquaint- 
ances of the elder Atkinson. Many of the deaths inscribed 
occurred before there was any newspaper in New Hamp- 
shire, and it, is probable that Secretary Atkinson took this 
as the best means of preserving a record of his particular 
friends. The names upon the waiter were in two col- 
umns. One column was filled down, and the other was filled 
about half way down, there being room enough for twelve 
or fifteen names more. From the appearance of the en- 
graving of the names, it is thought that the inscriptions 
were made at different times, as the persons happened to 
die. 

The first date was about eight years after his marriage. 
His wife died 12th Dec. 1769. It will be seen that but two 
names were added after her death. He died 22nd Sept. 
1779, and the dates stopped eight years previous to his 
death. Although the last column was not filled up, there 
were many distinguished persons who died within those 
eight years. 

It will be seen that neither the death of his son nor of 
his wife is noticed. He alludes to the death of one of Gov. 
Benning Wentworth's sons, and omits those of the other 
two. He also omits the death of Gov. Benning's first wife. 
Those acquainted with the history of Portsmouth will 
notice that he omits husbands and notices wives, and vice 
versa. Indeed, the most interesting point in this matter is 
to get at the standard of qualification for record upon the 
waiter. 



64 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

1. Benjamin Plummer, May 8, 1740 — 24 [age.] 

2. John Rindge, Xov. 6, 1740—45. 

3. Christopher Eymes, April 3cl, 1741 — 41. 

4. Shadrich Walton, Oct. 3d, 1741 — 83. 

5. Joshua Pierce, Feb. 7th, 1742 — 72. 

6. Elizabeth Wibird,Feb. 12th, 1742 — 73. 

7. John Downing, Sept, IGth, 1744—85. 

8. Joseph Sherburne, Dec. 3, 1744—64. 

9. Mary Sherburne, :March 6th, 1745-6 — 61. 

10. Mary Huske, March 8th, 1745-6 — 43. 

11. Arthur Slade, Jan. 12th, 1746 — 64. 

12. Dudley Odlin, Feb. 13th, 1747-8 — 37. 

13. Jotham Odiorne, Aug, 16th, 1748 — 73. 

14. Ann Pierce, Oct. 19th, 1748 — 25. 

15. Mary'Westbrook, Oct. 23, 1748 — 75. 

16. George Walker, Dec. 7th, 1748 — 86. 

17. George Jaffrey, May 8th, 17421-66. 

18. Jane Frost, May 22, 1749 — 64. 

19. Mary Sherburne, Nov. 27th, 1750 — 28. 

20. Elizabeth Vaughan, Dec. 7th, 1750 — 68. 

21. Jotham Odiorne, May 19th, 1751 — 48. 

22. Nicholas Daniel, June 24th, 1751 — 31. 

23. Sarah Odiorne, June 23, 1752 — 76. 

24. Capt. William Pearson, Dec. 2nd, 1752 — 55. 

25. Mary Moore, March 12th, 1753 — 45. 

26. Elizabeth Solley, March 12th, 1753 — 34. 

27. Mary Wilson, April 15th, 1753 — 71. 

28. Richard Waldron, Aug. 23d, 1753 — 60. 

29. Dorothy Sherburne, Jan. 3d, 1754— 74. 

30. Sarah Dov/ning, Jan. 11th, 1754 — 70. 

31. Mary Wentworth, June 13th, 1755 — 32. 

32. Henry Sherburne, Dec. 29th, 1757 — 83. 

33. Eliza Waldron, Oct. 16th, 1758 — 57. 

34. Mary March, March 22d, 1759 — 80. 

. Sir William Pepporell, Bart , July 6th, 1759 — 



SILVER WAITER RECORD. 65 

3G. Mary Meserve, Aug. 8tb, 1759 — 47. 

37. Ann Tash, Aug. 25th, 1759 — 68. 

38. John Wentworth, Nov. 8th, 1759;— 39. 

39. Samuel Smith, May 2cl, 1760 — 74. 

40. Dorothy Oilman, Jan. 25th, 1761 — 49. 

41. Ann Packer, Jan. 12th, 1762 — 61. 

42. Hannah Sherburne, Feb. 10th, 1762 — 57. 

43. Margaret Chambers, Aug. 6th, 1762—82. 

44. Madame D. Newmarch, Jan. 8th, 1763 — 63. 

45. M. Gambhng, Aug. 29th, 1764 — 75. 

46. John Downing, Feb. 14th, 1766 — 82. 

47. His Ex. Benning Wentworth, Oct. 14th, 1770—75. 

48. T. WalHngford, Aug. 4th, 1771 — 75. 

1. Benjamin Plummer, died 1740, aged 24. He made 
his will 7th May, 1740, the day before he died. He calls 
himself of Portsmouth. His orders were that his wearing 
apparel be taken to Boston and there be sold for the most 
it would bring. He speaks of no relative in this country, 
but wills the most of the property to his mother and broth- 
ers in Loudon. He makes Thomas Plummer, of London, 
merchant, and Theodore Atkinson, of Portsmouth, N. H., 
executors. He made presents to Theodore Atkinson, John 
Loggin, and to '^ my much esteemed friend " Mary Mac- 
pheadris. The presents to Miss Macpheadris were so nu- 
merous and valuable as to indicate intentions of marriage. 
The portrait of Miss Macpheadris can be seen in the house 
of the late Col. John N. Sherburne. She was the grand- 
daughter of Lt. Gov. John Wentworth and wife of Hon. 
Jonathan Warner. Her family is more particularly described 
in Ramble 25. 

2. John Sindge came to Portsmouth early in 1700, from 
Ipswich, Mass., when a minor. He married Ann, daughter 
of Jotliam Ordiorne, Sr. He was made Counsellor the 
year he died. His children were as follows : Elizabeth m 
Mark Hunking Wentworth ; Mehi table 7n Daniel Rogers ; 



66 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

John ; Jotham, married Sarah . The widow of John 

Rindge probably was Anne, the last wife of Sheriff Packer. 

3. Christopher Rjmes was son of Samuel R-ymes, who 
was married sometime previous to December, 1G91, to Mary, 
sister of Lt. Gov. John AVentworth. She was afterwards the 
wife of Dr. John Clifton. Samuel was "Mariner," and was 
dead as early as 1712. 

Their son Christopher had a wife, Dorothy, who as early 
as 1748 had married John Tailor of Milton, Mass. Chris- 
topher left property to his son Christopher Jr., daughter 
Ann, mother Mary Chfton, wife's brother Richard, brother 
Samuel, brother Samuel's son Christopher and brother 
Samuel's daughter Dorothy. 

4. Shadrich Walton may have been son of ■ Walton, 
who married Fanny, daughter of Gov. Samuel Allen. They 
had George, SkadrirJi, Samuel and Fanny, who married Wil- 
liam Hoyt. 

5. Joshua Pierce. He was the first of the Pierce family 
who arrived at Portsmouth (see Ramble 30, page 356.) 
Mr. Joshua Pierce ofNewbur}^, Mass., married Dorothy, 
daughter of Major Pike, of Salisbury, Mass., and had a son 
Hon. Joshua Pierce who married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Joseph Hall of Piscataqua, N. H., who married Elizabeth 
Smith, who came here from England upon the desire of her 
uncle, the original Major Richard Waldron of Dover. This 
Eh'zabeth, widow of Joseph Hall, who died Dec. 19th, 
1685, married 7th of August, 1687, Col. Thomas Packer, 
supposed to be the father of old Sherill" Packer. She died 
at Greenland, N. H , Aug. 14th, 1717, aged 62 years. 

6. Elizabeth Wibird was the widow Elizabeth Redford 
when married to Ricliird AVibird, Sr., July 10th, 1701. 
She was the mother of Hon. Richard Vv^'ibird, Jr., who was 
born July 7th, 1702. Was her first husband William Red- 
ford, who was Register of Deeds at Portsmouth 1693 to 
1697 ? Richard, Sr. was one of the King's Councillors from 



SILVEE WAITER RECORD. 67 

1716 to his death in 1732. He is said to have erected the 
first brick house in Portsmouth, and was a very wealthy 
man. 

7. John Downing, died 1744, aged 25. 

He was one of the Provincial Counsellors from 1740 to 
his death. Letters of Administration were granted to his 
wife, Patience Downing. He was of Newington. He 
owned four houses in Portsmouth in 1727. 

8. Joseph Sherburne, died 1744, aged G4. 

He was one of the Provincial Councillors from 1733 to 
the day of his death. His wife was Mary, and he lived at 
Portsmouth. His son Joseph of Boston was his adminis- 
trator. 

9. Mary Sherburne, died 1745, aged Gl. 

In her will she gives property to grandson Nathaniel, 
who was son of her son John, deceased ; also to sons Joseph 
and Nathaniel and daughter Mary. He was one of the jus- 
tices that tried Sarah Simpson and Penelope Kenny in 
1739, who were executed for murder. 

10. Mary Huske was daughter of Ichabod and Mary (Jose) 
Plaisted. She was born Oct. Cth, 1702, and was sister to 
Samuel Plaisted, wlio married Lt. Gov. John AVentworth's 
daughter Hannah, afterwards Mrs. Theodore Atkinson. 

S.ilem, Mass., records give the following: — '•' Capt. Ellis 
Huske married 25th Oct., 1720, Mary Plaisted. " The Avill 
of Ellis Huske was proved April 30th, 1751 ; and from it we 
get his children as follows : John, Olive married Daniel 
Rindge, who died childless ; Ann married Edmund Quincy, 
Jr., whose daughter Mary married Jacob Sheafe, Jr., of 
Portsmouth; Mary married John S'lerburne, and died 
childless before her father. 

11. Arthur olade, died 1746, aged 64. 

He was from New Market. Letters of administration 
were granted to Henry Iveese and his wife Elizabeth. 
This Mrs, Ehzabeth Keese may have been his daughter, but 



G8 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

nothing is sliown by the Exeter records of his having a 
wife or descendants. 

12. Dudley Odhn, died 1748, aged 37. 

His will indicates that he was a physician. He was of 
Exeter. He willed property to nephew John, son of his 
brother Elisha, on condition that he study medicine ; to 
his father : to brothers John, Elisha and Woodbridge ; to 
cousins Winthrop and William. 

13. Jotham Odiorne, Sr., lived at New Castle. Was 
Counsellor 1724, and Judge from 1742 to 1747. He had 
son Hon. Jotham, Jr., and Ann, who married John Rindge 
and was mother of Mrs. Mark Hunking Wentworth. 

14. This Ann Pierce has been claimed to be the Ann 
Pierce born Oct. 26th, 1723, and who Avas sister of Elizabeth 
who married Samuel Solley, and daughter of George Jaf- 
frey, who married Sarah Jeffries of Boston, Jan. 10th, 1710. 
She married Dec. 20th, 1744, Nathaniel Pierce, and had two 
sons and a daughter Sarah, who married Col. Joshua Went- 
worth. Mr. Pierce died Aug. 27th, 1762, aged 50 years. 
On the 6th of Dec, 1769, she married Leveret Hubbard 
and died Dec. 1790, aged 67. So the above must refer to 
some other Ann Pierce. It is probable that she was the 
daughter of the first Joshua Pierce who came to Portsmouth 
in 1700. 

15. Mar}' Westbrook, died 1743, aged 75. 

Was she not the wife of Hon. Thomas Westbrook men- 
tioned in Ramble 30 as one of the thirteen men who paid 
the highest taxes in Portsmouth in 1727 ? 

16. George Walker, died 1749, aged 86. 

He was of Portsmouth and left property to wife Abigail 
and to Walker Lear, son of his sister Eiiz;xbeth Lear. Also 
to cousins Ichabod Cheney and Hannah Spofiford. There 
was a Capt. Walker in 1727 in Portsmouth who had four 
slaves. 

17. George Jaffrey was born at Great Island (New Cas- 



SILVER WAITER RECORD. 69 

tie,) Nov. 22, 1G82, graduated at Harvard College 1702, 
was Counsellor in 171G. He married Jan. 10th, 1710 
Sarah, daughter of David and Elizabeth (Usher) Jeffries of 
Boston, who was born May -Ith, 1695. She died Jan. 12,, 
1734, and was the mother of George, Ji'. Elizabeth mar- 
ried Samuel Solley, Sarah married David Jeffries, and Ann 
married Nathaniel Pierce. 

George Jaffrey married for a second wife, March 9, 1738, 
the widow of Hon. Archibald McPhederis, who was Sarah, 
daughter of Lt. Gov. John Wentworth, who survived him. 
He was only son and child of George and Anne Jaffrey of 
Great Island, who was Counsellor, Speaker, <fcc., and died at 
Col. Appleton's in Ipswich, Mass., aged 69, May 8, 1749. 

18. Jane Frost was originally the wife of Andrew, son of 
Col. William and Margarey (Bray) Pepperell. He was the 
oldest child and was brother of Sir William. She had one 
daughter Margarey, who was the first wife of Capt. Wil- 
liam, son of Lt. Gov. John Wentworth. She had another 
daughter Sarah, who married Charles Frost, Jr. ; and she 
married his father Charles Frost, Sr., for her second hus- 
band. She had by him Elliot Frost, born June 29, 1718. 
Her father was Robert Elliot of New Castle, who was 
made Counsellor in 1683. 

19. Mary Sherburne, died 1750, aged 28. 

20. Elizabeth Vaughan, died 1750, aged 68. 

21. Jotham Odiorne, Jr., married Mehitable, daughter of 
Robert Cutt of Kittery, Dec. 29th, 1725. Among his chil- 
dren were Sarah, married (1st) Henry Appleton (2d) Wil- 
liam Appleton ; Mary married Peter Pearse ; Mehitable 
married William E. TreadwelL 

22. Nicholas Daniel, died 1751, aged 31. 

There is nothing at the Probate office at Exeter to indi- 
cate who either of these individuals were. 

23. Sarah Odiorne is supposed to be wife of Jotham, Sr.; 
and mother of Jotham, Jr. ' 



70 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

24. Capt. William Pearson, died 1752, aged 55. 

He made will at Fortsmoutli 18th Nov. 1748, and states 

that he was born oOtli January, 1(>97 in , County of 

York, England. He appoints his wife executor and gives 
her his property. In case of his absence and his wife 
should die before liim, he appoints Theodore Atkinson of 
Portsmouth, N. H., and Barlow Trecothie of Boston, Mass., 
his Attornies. 

25. Mary Moore, died 1753, aged 45. 

The Probate records at Exeter indicate nothing save 
that there was a Samuel Moore of Portsmouth, N. H., who 
made his will in 1744 and died 1749. He made his wife 
Mary sole executor. She died without a will and Joshua 
Peirce was made her administrator. She must have been 
the Mary Moore alluded to in Ramble 80, as daughter of 
Joshua Peirce, Sr., Avho died in 1763, and sister to Joshua 
Peirce, Jr., who was her administrator. 

26. Elizabeth Solley, born July 20th, 1719, was daugh- 
ter of Greorge Jaffrey, who married Sarah Jeffries of Bos- 
ton, Jan. 10th, 1710. She married Oct. 20th, 1741, Hon. 
Samuel Solley, who was made Councillor in 1740. Solley 

went to England in 1758, where his second wife Lucy , 

died 1761. He died in London June, 1785. There was in 
Portsmouth in 1702 Nathaniel Solley, who called himself 
''formerly of London." Probably father of Samuel. The 
above Elizabeth Solley was sister to Ann Jaflfre}^, who mar- 
ried Nathaniel Pierce. She died childless. 

27. Mary Wilson, died 1753, aged 71. 
Probate records show nothing in this case. 

28. Richard Waldron was born at Dover, N. H., Feb. 
21st, 1693, and graduated at Harvard College 1712. He 
was grandson of old Major Waldron, who was massacred at 
Dover, June 28th, 1689, by the Indians. He wa^ son of 
Richard Waldron who married (1st) Hannah, daughter of 
President Cutt, who died Feb. 14th, 1692, and (2nd) Feb. 



SILVER WAITER RECORD. " 71 

Gth, 1G92-3 Eleanor, dangliter of Major William Yauglian. 
His fetber died Nov. 3d, 1730. He first lived at Dover, 
but earlv removed to Portsmouth, where he became Judtre. 
Councillor, and Secretary of the Province. His wife was 
Elizabeth, daughter of Hon. Thomas Westbrook. 

29. Dorothy Sherburne was daughter of Samuel and 
Mary (Benning) Wentworth, and was born June 27th, 1G80. 
She was sister of Lt. Gov. John Wentworth. She married 
Henry Sherburne, described in another place. 

30. Sarah Downing, died 1754, aged 70. 

She was probably the wife of John Downing in Ramble 
46, as he mentions no wife in his will. 

31. Mary Wentworth was daughter of Nathaniel and 
Mary (Lloyd) Mendura, and wife of Ebenezer Wentworth, 
one of the sons of Lt. Gov. John. This Ebenezer had but 
one child, Rebecca, (who married her cousin George Went- 
worth, father of Ebenezer, late of this city.) He married 
Dec. 4th, 1746, and died Feb. 3d, 1757. He was born Aug. 
1714, and she June 18th, 1723. 

32. Henry Sherburne married Dorothy, sister of Lt. 
Gov. John Wentworth. He was son of Samuel Sherburne, 
who married Love Hutchins of Haverhill, Dec. 15th, 1668, 
and was killed at Casco Bay Aug. 4th, 1691. This Samuel 
was son of Henry Sherburne, who married (1st) Rebecca, 
daughter of Ambros Gibbons, and (2d) Sarah, widow of 
Walter Abbot. The Henry first alluded to was appointed 
Councillor in 1728, and was also Chief Justice. 

33. Elizabeth Waldron was only child of Col. Thomas 
Westbrook. She was born Nov. 26th, 1701, and married, 
Dec. 31st, 1718, the above mentioned Secretary Richard 
Waldron. 

34. Mary March, died 1759, aged 80. 
Probate records show nothing in this case. 

35. Sir William Pepperell, son of Col. William and Mar- 
garey (Bray) Pepperell, was born June 27th, 1696. He 



72 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

married Marj, daughter of Grove Hirst, Esq., a mercliant 
of Boston. He was kniglited for his services, and his biog- 
rapliy has been written by a descendant of his father, Dr. 
Parsons. 

36. Mary Meserve. died 1759, aged 47. 

Nathaniel Meserve of Portsmouth willed property to his 
wife Mary and died in 1758, Mary Avas to bring up the 
children under age. He had sons Nathaniel, John, George 
and Hanson ; and daughters Annah Wills, Sarah Odiorne, 
Miivy Batson, Esther, Jane, Elizabeth and Ann. See Ram- 
ble 35. He died at Louisburg of small pox in 1758. It 
is said that his last words to his wife on leaving were — 
"Don't break my will." She did break it, however, and the 
story is that his apparition harshly upbraided her in the 
entry of her place of residence, (the Boyd house by the 
mill.) It appears that she died the next year. 

37. Ann Tash, died 1759, aged 63. 

Exeter Probate records give nothing about Tasli until 
1811, when John Tash of New Market died at an advanced 
age, 

38. John Wentworth was son of Gov. Benning,"and was 
born Jan. 1720, He was never married. Adams alludes to 
his death in his Annals. He was christened at Boston, Jan. 
29th, 1720, as his mother, the first wife of Gov. Beniiing, 
Abigail Ruck, was a member of the South Church there. 
His portrait is now at the house of the late Ebenezer in 
this city. 

39. Samuel Smith, died 1760, aged 74. 

He was a Provincial Counsellor from 1740 to the day of 
his death. He willed property to Mary, widow of Timothy 
Emerson; Elizabeth wife of Solomon Emerson; Hannah, wife 
of Richard TValdron ; Temperance, wife of Joseph Varney ; 
Sarah, wife of Lemuel Chesley ; Joseph Knight, husband of 
deceased daughter Patience Knight ; to his son Joseph 
Smith. 



SILVEK WAITER EECORD. 73 

40. Dorothy Gilman was daughter of Henry and Dorothy 
(Weiitworth) Sherburne, and sister to the fathers of Wood- 
bury and John Langdon's wives. She married Hon. Peter 
GiliEian of Exeter, who was Councillor from 1772, and 
Speaker for several years under the colonial government. 
He died Dec. 1st, 1788, aged 84 years. Their daughter 
Abigail married (1st) Dec. Gth, 1750, Rev. John Strong of 
Portsmouth, N. H., and (2nd) Oct. 23d, 1755, Rev. Wood- 
bridge Odlin of Exeter, Avho died March 10th, 1776. 

41. Ann Packer must have been a second wife of Hon. 
Tbomas Packer, who Avas Sheriff from 1741 to the day of 
his death, June 22d, 1771. She was sister of Hon. Jotham 
•^diorne, Jr. The first wife of Sheriff Packer was Rebecca, 
daughter of Lt. Gov. John Wentworth, who died in 1768. 
;She was, probably, the widow of John Rindge. 

42. Hannah Sherburne, died 1762, aged 57. 

She was of New Castle. She had grandson Thomas 
Odiorne of Greenland ; son Noah, and daughter Catherin(3 
Odiorne of Portsmouth. 

43. Margaret Chambers, died 1762, aged 82. 

She died a widow, of Portsmouth. No will. Cutts 
Shannon was appointed Administrator. She had 70 acres 
of land at Gravelly Ridge ; 57>< acres in upper and 2 in 
lower marsh, and half an acre of Gore, so called. Her 
estate was appraised X10,972. 

44. Madame D. Newmarek was wife of Hon. Joseph 
Newmarch, He was born Oct. 29th, 1707, and was son of 
Rev. John Newmarch, who married Mary, widow of Mark 
Hunking, who Avas the father of the wife of Lt. Gov. John 
Wentworth. 

Dorothy was born July 23d., 1698, and was daughter of 
Col. William and Margarey (Bray) Pepperell, and sister' to 
Sir William. She married John Watkins March 26tb, 1710, 
and had children by him. She subsequently married Mr. 
Newmarch, who was one of the Councillors in 1754. 
6 



74 RAMBLES, ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

45. Exeter Probate records sliow that tliere was a Ben- 
jamin Gambling of Portsmouth, who made liis will in 1744^ 
and left all his property to his mother Alary Gambling. 

Tliere is on file a will made April 2nd, 1764, from Mary 
Gambling, which was proved Sept. 26th, 1764, which proves 
her to have been the M. Gambling referred to on the 
waiter. She wills property to sister Elizabeth Toppan and 
her son ; sisters Deborah Knight and Susanna Winkley ; 
cousins Samuel Penhallow, John Penhallow, William Knight, 
Temple Knight, Mary Knight; children of cousin Henry 
Coleman, children of brother Samuel, deceased ; to Benja- 
min Gambling, Carter land in Leicester, Mass. ; to Mr. 
Eaton, present minister of Leicester, Mass., land in Leices- 
ter. Her estate was very large, and the Exeter records 
show nothing of her husband. She probably once lived in 
Leicester, Mass. 

In 1738, John Rindge was appointed Councillor in place 
of Benjamin Gambling deceased. There was a Benjamin 
Gambling who was Register of the Council in 1681. 

46. John Downing, died 1766, aged 82. 

He was supposed to be son of John Downing, No. 7. 
He was of Newington and wills to grandsons John, Samuel 
and Jonathan, who were sons of his son John deceased ; 
to grandsons Samuel and Josiah Shackford who were soijs 
of his daughter Susannah S. deceased ; to grandsons Nich- 
olas, John and James who were sons of his daughter Mary 
Pickering, deceased ; to his sons Richard and Harrison 
Downing. 

47. His Excellency Benning Wentworth was son of Lt. 
Gov. John, who w^as son of Samuel, whose grave stone is 
still legible at the Point of Graves ; and the fourth in 
descent from Elder William Wentworth of Dover, N. H. 
He was born July 24th, 1696. He married (1st) Dec. 31st, 
1719, Abigail, daughter of John Ruck of Boston. He had 
had three sons, John, Benning and Foster, who died single 



SILVEP WAITER RECORD. 75 

and before him. He married (2nd) Martha Hilton, and left 
her a childless widow. She subsequently married Col. 
j\Iichael Wentworth of England, and had by him Martha 
"Wentworth, who married John, son of Thomas and grandson 
of Mark Hunking Wentworth. 

48. T. Wallingford refers to Col. Thomas Wallingford 
of Somersworth, one of the wealthiest men in New Hamp- 
shire. He lived near Salmon Falls, between that place and 
the old Somersworth meeting-house on the road to Dover, 
N. H. His tombstone is still readable in the old cemetery 
near were the old Somersworth meeting-house stood. His 
splendid mansion still exists to do honor to his memory. 
He was a Representative from Dover (Somersworth not 
then being a separate town) as early as 1739, and a great 
many years thereafter. He was one of the Judges of the 
Superior ^Court from 1748 to the day of his death, which 
took place at Mr. Stoodley's in Portsmouth. About 1855, 
his youngest child, the widow of Charles Cushing of South 
Berwick, Me., died, aged nearly a hundred years. Hon. 
H. H. Hobbs, of South Berwick, married her daughter. 
Col. Wallingford was father of Lt. Samuel Wallingford, who 
was killed on board the ship Ranger in her engagement, 
tinder John Paul Jones, with the Drake, leaving a widow 
who married Col. Amos Coggswell of Dover, and one child, 
late George W. Wallingford, whose family still lives at 
Kennebunk, Maine. Col. Wallingford had three wives, and 
at least thirteen children. 



RAMBLE XCII. 



Theodore j^tkinson's Estate — "Will of Susanna, widow 
of Gi-eorge Atkinson. 

In a former Ramble (No. 18, page 106) it was stated that 
at the time of Theodore Atkinson's death in 1779, his 
property by bequest come into possession of William King, 



76 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

of Dover, who added Atkinson to his name. This we since 
find is not strictly correct. The property was conveyed to 
George King, a relative of Atkinson, who changed his 
name to George Atkinson. The entailed estate afterwards 
became the property of William K. Atkinson of Dover, a 
nephew of George. 

Hon. George Atkinson, who was a man of some distinc- 
tion, occupied the mansion house of Hon. Theodore At- 
kinson, on Court street. He was twice, we think, candidate 
for Governor of New Hampshire, and received nearly 
votes enough to elect him. The date of his death we can- 
not find, but it occurred not far from 1790. He married 
Susanna, the second daughter of Rev. John Sparhawk of 
Salem. She died in 179G, without issue. We find in her 
will the following bequests, showing somewhat of her 
style of living: 

I give, and bequeatli to my nephews, Wm. K. Atkinson, 
John Sparhawk and Thomas Sparhawk, all my public secu- 
rities, monies in the funds, notes of hand, bonds, debts of 
every kind due to me ; judgments, executions and mort- 
gages, to be equally divided between them my said nephews 
in equal thirds, share and share alike. 

To Daniel Humphreys, Esq., my brother-in-law, one 
hundred pounds, and my house and land, shop, wharf, &c., 
at Puddle Dock in Portsmouth. 

To my beloved brother Samuel Sparhawk, X40 per an- 
num daring his life. To his son Samuel Sparhawk, jr., 
£50, to be paid in six months after my decease. To his 
daughter Eliza Sparhawk, X50, to be paid in six months 
after my decease. 

To the relict of my dear departed brother John Spar- 
hawk, X30 per annum during life. 

To my nephew John Sparhawk, my dwelling house, gar- 
den and all my household furniture and plate, (except what 
is hereinaiter bequeathed,) my book case, books, my horses 
and my carriages. 

To my nephew Geo. King Sparhawk, my plain silver 
oval waiter, my largest silver teapot and teaspoons with the 
'' King" crest. 



WILL OF SUSANNA ATKINSON. 77 

To my nephew Thomas Sparhawk, the land fronting my 
dwelling house, and also my mowing field at the creek ; 
also I give him .£100. 

To my nephew Samuel Sparhawk, my pasture land at the 
creek. 

To my niece Susannah SparhaAvk, X40 sterling. 

To my nephew Daniel Humphreys, jr., the field this side 
the creek, with the barn on it, and £'60 and 2 small silver 
salvers. 

To ray nephew George Humphreys, the lot near my 
coach house, which is now hired of me by Abner Blaisdell. 

It is my will that my protege Eliza Winslow, be suitably 
provided with apparel, schooling, and all other conve- 
niences, until she attains the age of eighteen ; and at 20, 
or sooner if married, the sum of <£G0 sterling. 

To my sister Priscilla, (widow of Judge Ropes,) my suit 
of black satin and my black laced shade. 

To my niece Peggy Appleton, daughter of my sister 
Jane, my suit of Brussels and my leather wrought Ian. 

To my nephew, Wm. K. Atkinson, the/amilij pictures, my 
silver wrought bread basket, my largest silver tankard, ray 
new silver plated tea urn. 1 case silver handled knives 
and forks, my largest Wilton carpet, also sundry books. 

Then all tlie jewels, watches, &c., are bequeathed to 
sundry persons. 

To niece Katy, my white satin cloak trimmed with 
ermine. 

Sister-in-law Abigail aforesaid, ray black satin cloak trim- 
med with broad lace. 

To Deborah, wife of Nath'l Sparhawk, my suit of dove 
colored satin. 

The rest of her apparel to her nieces. 

All the residue and remainder of my estate to my nephew 
aforesaid, John Sparhawk, and his heirs forever. 

Nephews John Sparhawk and Thomas Sparhawk to be 
joint executors of the will. 

Signed in presence of A. R. Cutter, 

Wm. Cctter, 
Abigail Mitchell. 

The farm now owned by Hon. Frank Jones in North 
Portsmouth was the property of George Atkinson, and 



78 RAMBLES About Portsmouth. 

thither their coach might frequently be seen going in the 
summer season. It afterwards became the property of her 
nephew Col. George K. Sparhawk — although by the 
will it appears to have been given to his brother John 
Sparhawk. 



RAMBLE XCIII. 



Peter Ijivins the Ijoyalist — Building of the IS'ortll Bridge' 
and 3\I ill — Chief Justice of Quebec — His efforts to Avin. 
GJ-en. Sullivan to the British Cause. 

Our old town was noted in the Revolution as a place of 
Loyalists, or Tories as they were called, as well as for her 
Revolutionary Patriots. At the close of the Revolution^ 
Portsmouth came in for its share of proscribed individuals, 
who had left the country to avoid any participation in the 
Revolution. They were forbidden to return without the 
assent of the representatives of the countuy. Among 
these individuals was Peter Livius, the subject of our 
present Ramble. 

Peter Livius was born in Bedford, England, in 1727. He 
was the second son of Peter Lewis Livius, of a Saxon 
family of distinction, envoy to the Court of Lisbon. Peter 
Livius was married in England to Anna Elizabeth, second 
daughter of John Tufton Mason, Esq., a cousin of the Earl 
of Thanet. Miss Mason was of Portsmouth, a resident at 
the Mason House, now on Vaughan street, and had gone to 
England to complete her education. Mr. Livius possessed 
a handsome fortune, and when he came to this town, about 
the year 17G2, he not on!}- brought his coach, but also a 
double set of wheels — 'Supposing that the new Avorld had 
not art enough to make a set when the first gave out. He 
first occupied the house next to the North Mill which the 



BUILDING OF THE NORTH MILL AND BRIDGE. 79 

Meserve family Iiad vacated ; and after a few years removed 
into the house No. 35 Deer street, afterwards Thomas Mar- 
tin's, and now owned and occupied by George Annable. In 
IT'G-t) he made proposals to the town to build a bridge over 
the mouth of Islington Creek, twenty feet wide, part thereof 
to consist of a lifting bridge thirty feet long, with flood- 
gates of the same length, upon condition that the town 
would allow him to dam the watercourse in the Creek, for 
the purpose of erecting mills. This was granted, and was 
the first laying of the North Mill bridge, which was a 
private enterprise of Mr. Livius. He was educated abroad, 
but received an honorary degree from Harvard University 
in 17C7. 

Of the members of the Council of New Hampshire, in 
1772, seven were relatives of the Governor. Having been 
left out of commission as a Justice of the Common Pleas, 
on the division of the province into Counties, when new 
appointments were made, and dissenting from the views of 
the Council as to the disposition of reserved lands in grants 
made by a former governor, Livius went to England, and 
exhibited to the lords of trade several and serious^charges 
against the administration of which he was a member. 
These charges were rigidly investigated, but were finally 
dismissed. Livius appears, however, to have gained much 
popularity among those in New Hampshire who were 
opposed to the Governor, and who desired his removal ; 
and was appointed, by their influence, Chief Justice of the 
Province. But as it was thought that the appointment, 
under the circumstances, was likely to produce discord, he 
was transferred to the more lucrative office of Chief Justice 
of Quebec. Livius was of foreign extraction, and, as 
would seem, a gentleman of strong feelings. He wrote to 
General John Sullivan from Canada, to induce him to aban- 
don the Whig cause. 

This letter presents in a clear manner the arguments used 



80 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

by lliose who opposed the Revolution, and is written with 
such openness that Livius seemed confident tliat his man 
was secure. The letter was sealed up in a canteen with a 
false bottom, and was taken out by Gen. Schuyler at Fort 
Edward, June 16th, 1777. There is' an endorsement on the 
back of the manuscript in Gen. Sullivan's writing. 

" From Mr. Livius to Gen. Sullivan. " 

Sir: — I have long desired to write my mind to you, on a 
matter of the greatest importance to you ; but the unhappy 
situation of things has rendered all intercourse very diffi- 
cult, and has prevented me. I now find a man is to be sent 
for a very different purpose to 3'ou. By him I shall corjtrive 
to get this letter to you, a person having undertaken to put 
it in the place of that which was designed to be carried to 
you. You know me very well, and are acquainted with 
many circumstances of my life, and have seen me in very 
trying situations, that raight perhaps have been some ex- 
cuse, yet I am sure you never knew me guilty of an 
ungentlemanly action. I remind you of this, that you may 
safely trust what I say to you, as coming from a person who 
has never trifled with any man. You know better than I do 
the situation of your Congress, and the confusion there is 
among you, and the ruin that impends : you have felt how 
unequal the forces of your own j>eople are to withstand the 
power of Great Britain ; and foreign assistance, I need not 
tell you how precarious and deceitful it must be. France 
and Spain know they cannot embark in your quarrel with- 
out tlie greatest danger of Great Britain turning suddenly 
against and taking possession of their colonies, with so 
great a force collected and in America ; besides their fears 
of raising views of independence in their own colonies, to 
which they are much disposed. But why should I enlarge 
on this subject? I am sure you know the futility of all 
hoi>es of eli'octual foreign assistance^ and that these hopes 
have b.3en tlirown out to keep up the spirits of the deluded 
common people. You therefore will not suffer yourself to 
be deluded by them. The most you can expect from for- 
eigners is, that they will help, at the expense of your coun- 
trymen's blood and happiness, to keep up a dispute that 



LETTER OF PETER LIVIUS TO GEN. SULLIVAN. 81 

will ruin you and distress Great Britain. It is ^not the 
interest of France and Spain that America should be inde- 
pendent ; but if it were possible you could entertain any 
thoughts that the hopes of effectual foreign assistance were 
well grounded, you cannot but know that such assistance 
must nov/ arrive too late ; the last campaign Avas almost 
consumed before the English army could get collected and 
in a position to act in America ; but now the campaign is 
just opening, the whole army in the greatest health and 
spirits, plentifully provided with everything, most earnest 
in the cause, I do assure you, well acquainted with the 
country, and placed so as to act briskly with the greatest 
efficacy. A few months will therefore probably decide the 
contest ; you must either fight or fly ; and in either case 
ruin seems inevitable. You were the first man in active re- 
hellion, and drew with you the province you live in. What 
hope, what expectation can you have ? You will be one of 
the first sacrifices to the resentment and justice of govern- 
ment, your family will be ruined, and you must die with 
ignominy ; or if you should be so happy as to escape, you 
will drag along a tedious life of poverty, misery and con- 
tinual apprehension in a foreign land. Now, Sullivan, I 
have a method to propose to you, if you have resolution 
and courage, that will save you and your family and estate 
from this imminent destruction ; it is in plain English to 
tread back the steps you have already taken and to do some 
real essential service to your king and country, in assisting 
to re-establish public tranquility and lawful government. 
You know I will not deceive you. Every one who will 
exert himself for government will be rewarded, and I do 
assure you firmly upon my honor that I am empowered to 
engage particularly with you, that it shall be the case with 
you, if youAvill sincerely endeavor to deserve your pardon. 
It is not desired of you to declare yourself immediately, 
nor indeed to declare yourself at ail, until you can dispose 
matters so as to bring the province with you ; in order to 
which you should as much as possible, under difierent 
pretences, contrive to send every man out of tlie province 
from whom you apprehend difficulty, and to keep at home 
all those friendly to government or desirous of peace. In 
the meanwhile endeavor to give me all the material intel- 
ligence you can collect (and you can get the best ;) or 



^82 RAMBLES ABOUT POEtSMOtJTH. 

if you find it more convenient, you can convey it to 
General Burgoyne, and by using my name lie will know 
whom it comes from without your mentioning your own 
name ; and as soon as you can do it with efficacy and suc- 
cess, declare yourself, and you will find assistance you very 
very little expect in restoring the province to lawful gov- 
ernment. If you do not choose to undertake this, another 
will, and if you continue obstinate on the ground you are 
now on, you may depend upon it, you will find it suddenly 
fail, and burst under you like the springing of a mine; 
What I recommend to you is not only prudent, safe, and 
necessary ; it is right, it is honorable. That you embarked 
in the cause of rebellion is true ; perhaps you mistook the 
popular delusion for the cause of your country, (as many 
others did who have returned to their duty,) and you en- 
gaged in it warmly : but when you found your error, you 
earnestly returned, you saved the province you had en- 
gaged for from devastation and ruinj and you rendered 
most essential services to your king and country ; for 
which I engage my word to you, you will receive pardonj 
you will secure your estate, and you will be further amply 
rewarded. Your past conduct has been unworthy ; your 
return will be praiseworthy. What is all this expense of 
human life for ? these deluges of human blood ? Very 
probably only to set afloat some lawless despotic tyrant in 
the room of your lawful king, I conceive you must be 
surrounded with embarrassments ; you may perhaps find 
difficulty in getting a letter to me. Possibly the fellow 
who carries this to you may be trusted ; he thinks indeed 
he carries to you a very different letter from this, and I 
suppose will be frightened a good deal when he finds the 
change that has been put upon him, and that I am in pos- 
session of the letter he was intended to carry ^yet I have 
understood that he has a family here, and will I suppose 
wish to return, and knows well enough it is in my power 
to procure him pardon and reward ; and I imagine he 
thinks (as I trust most people do) that I am never forget- 
ful of a man who does anything to oblige me. You will 
consider how far you may trust him, how far it is prudent 
to do it, and you can sound him, and see whether he wishes 
to return, and whether he is likely to answer the purpose ; 
and if you think proper you miy engage to him that I will 



PETER LIYiUS. 82^ 

protect him, and reward bim if lie brings me safely a letter 
from you. I could say a great deal more on tbis subject, 
but I must close my letter lest it sbould be too late. Be 
sincere and steady, and give me occasion to show myself 
Your sincere frien4^ 
Montreal, 2nd June, 1777. ' *^*^* ***^-^* 

Livius bad three slaves at bis bouse, when be lived in 
Deer street, A man and a wife might have been seen one 
day driven from the bouse to a vessel at the wharf, to be 
sent to the West Indies to be sold, crying aloud for their 
child which they were not allowed to take with them. 
And on another day, a stout slave was sent on board 
another vessel on an errand, when he was seized and put 
in confinement by the request of bis mistress^ and sent 
also for sale in the West Indies. Mr. Livius went to Can- 
ada before his family, and his wife paid off some debts 
here with her household farniture. The large family bible 
with the family coat of arms, was given to a next door 
neighbor, and is still retained there in nearly as good con- 
dition as it was when received ninety-three years ago. 

Peter Livius died in England in 1795, at the age of G8 
years. He had three daughters — one of them died unmar- 
ried — the second married Mr. May of Blackheath ; the third, 
Capt. Dalby, 



RAMBLE XClV. 



Ijegislation in Fortsinoiath. in. iG 9 9— First Frison— :^Xarli: 

]Sroble. 

Portsmouth was the seat of G-overnment of New Hamp- 
shire at the time when the following proceedings took 
place. 

Ancient documents in the office of the Secretary of 



84 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

State contain the records of the formation at Portsmouth 
of Bellmont's government, and minutes of the proceedings 
of the first Legislative Assembly under him in the fall of 
1699. Under the act passed at this session, the Courts of 
Justice were originated, and continued to operate under 
the organization for seventy-two years. The act is copied 
at length in the ancient records, being the most ancient 
Legislative document in the possession of the State. The 
Assembly consisted of fifteen members, three from each of 
the five towns — Portsmouth, Hampton, Dover, Exeter and 
New Castle. The ^'Lord's Speech" at the opening of the 
Assembly commences thus : 

" Gentlemen — I have called you together at this time to 
give you an opportunity of serving the common interest 
of your country by Redressing the Greaveances this prov- 
ince lyes under." 

Among " the articles to be observed for regulating the 
House" is one " Imposing a threepence fine for absence at 
calling over ;" and another, " that none smoke tobacco in 
the House after calling over, on penalty of threepence for 
Cleark." Under date of Sept. 15, 1699, is the following 
record: 

" Complaint being made to the Assembly by the sheriff 
that the prison is not sufficient. Voted — That a strong logg 
house be built in the Province for a prison of thirty foot 
long, fourteen wide, one story of seven foot high, two 
brick chimneys in the midst five foot each, to be done 
forthwith, strong and substantial, the Treasurer and over- 
seer to be paid out of the next Province Assessment, to be 
sett in Portsmouth in or near the Great Fort." 

[Tliis first prison was built near Market Square. Church 
Hill was called the Fort.] 

In July 1700, it was voted " that Clerk of the Assem.bly 
receive 18 pence per day to be paid out of publicque 
Treasury for writing for the Assembly, finding paper and 
registering its minutes in this book." 



MARK NOBLE. 85 

Under date 17 July 1701 is the following: "The Puh- 
licque affairs of the House being much obstructed by 
persons sitting and leying on the bed — Voted that wIjoso- 
ever henceforward either sett or lye down shall forfeit 
three pence to the House for a fine for every such Default 
after the House is called over." On the next day, July 
18, 1701, is the following record : "Whereas the publicque 
affairs of this House is much obstructed by reason of sev- 
eral members thereof soe often withdrawing themselves 
into the chimney to take tobacco and sitt talking and not 
attend the af!\iirs of the House, Voted, That whosoever 
shall soe doe for the future shall pay a threepence fine for 
every such offence except leave be given." 

At the same session is the following minute :— " ^Ir. 
Timothy Hilliard dismissed, voted a person not fit to be a 
member hereof. Request sent to Upper House that notice 
be given to town to fill vacancy." 

In the State records we also find the following letter 
from Mark Noble, asking for the discharge of John Stavers, 
after the famous riot of the Earl-of-Halifax Hotel. Noble 
was an insane man for forty years afterwards. 

Portsmouth, February 3, 1777. 
To the Committee of Sa/et7j the Town of Exeter : 

Gentlemen: — As I am informed that Mr. Stivers is in 
confinement in goal upon my account contrary to my 
desire, for when I was at Mr. Stivers a fast day I had no ill 
nor ment none against the Gentleman but by bad luck or 
misfortune I have received a bad blow but it is bo well 
that I hope to go out in a day or two. So by this gentle- 
men of the Committee I hope you will release the gentle- 
man upon my account. I am yours to serve. 

Mark Noble, 
A friend to my country. 



66 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



EAMBLE XCY. 

The Old Stavers Hotel — The Party- — The Daniel Street 
-A.ppai'ition.— The IDance— ^^ Fragrant Iiiteri-uption. 

The following reminiscences of the old Pitt Tavern, 
in Pitt (now Court) street, presenting, as they do, a pleas- 
iant picture of social life in the olden time, are perhaps 
worth preserving from oblivion ; not the less so from the 
fact that the ancient hostelry still survives, in a vigorous 
old age, the merry party, which on the occasion referred 
to, were assembled within its walls. 

On a winter evening, in the latter portion of the last cen- 
tury, a party of half a dozen of the young men of Ports- 
mouth met at the dwelling of one of their number to take 
part in a dramatic representation he had designed for the 
amusement of himself and of his friends ; but in conse- 
quence of the illness of a member of the family, it was 
postponed until another evening. Feeling in a somewhat 
festive mood, it was proposed, by way of mitigating their 
disappointment, to adjourn to Stavers' Plotel, and there 
enjoy a quiet supper. On proceeding thither, the landlord 
informed them that in preparing for an expected sleighing 
party from out of town his larder was nearly exhausted, 
but he would do the best he was able for them. As they 
sat around the shining brass fender in the room assigned 
to them, enjoying the genial warmth of a blazing wood fire, 
it was suggested that while waiting for the preparation of 
their meal, each one in turn should sing a song or tell a 
story. A majority, being good singers, were thus enabled 
to fulfil their share of the agreement, and a young sailor, 
who bad just returned from a voyage to London, gave them 
a description of some of the wonders of that famous city. 
When the last was called upon to contribute his share to 
the general fund of amusement, be informed them that he 



GHOST STORY. 8? 

was neither gifted as a musician or as an im2wovisatore , Lut 
he would tell them what might pass for a ghost story, re- 
cently related to him by a female relative. On a summer 
night some thirty years before, a young friend, (who after- 
wards became her husband,) had been visiting her at her 
father's house, and on his way home, while passing through 
Ark (nowPenhallow) street, was startled by a low whis- 
tle, and looking back to learn its source, he saw the figure 
of a man far above the ordinary stature, in a huntsman's 
dress, followed by a troop of twenty to thirty dogs. As- 
tonishment at so strange a spectacle nearly rivetted him to 
the spot ; and his wonder was still farther excited on ob- 
serving that he could hear no sound of footsteps, nor was 
the dust in the least disturbed, although it was like ashes 
in its lightness, and two to three inches deep, Eecovering 
somewhat from his surprise, he addressed the individual, 
who made no reply, and proceeding onwards, passed down 
Buck (now State) street, where the young man lost sight 
of him in the distance. On reaching home, instead of 
retiring at once to rest, he seated himself in a chair by the 
side of his bed, and fell into a profound fit of meditation 
at what he had witnessed, from which he was aroused half 
ail hour afterwards by the entrance of his room mate, who, 
in a jocular tone, inquired if " Molly had given him the 
mitten ?" On learning the cause of his abstraction, he re- 
plied, " Why, I saw them myself, just as the clock struck 
ten, while stopping a moment under Wentworth's elms. 
They passed me, and I watched them until they turned 
into Ark street.'' Determined, if possible, to learn if se 
unusual a visitor, with so large a troop of canine compan- 
ions, was really in town, they arose at an early hour, and 
made inquiries at the various places where travellers were 
entertained in those days, but could gather nothing then, 
or at any time afterwards, that would enable them to eluci- 
date the mystery. She further stated that the moonlight 



88 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

on that evening was of sucli remarkable brilliancy that she 
had tried the experiment of reading, by its aid, the fine 
print of a pocket Bible. 

While commenting upon this curious story, supper Avas 
announced as in readiness, and proving excellent in quality 
as it was abundant in quantity, was fully enjoyed. A song 
or two succeeded, mingled with expressions of gratification 
at the pleasant evening they had passed, when the company 
prepared to depart for their homes ; but encountering in 
the passage a portion of the party from out of toAvn, and 
recognizing a coupLs of their school-boy friends of a few 
years previous, they accepted an invitation to remain and 
participate in the dance about to commence above-stairs, 
for which a colored professor of the violin had been inclu- 
ded among the arrangements of the landlord. A further 
.addition was made to their number in the person of a young 
gentleman, who came to the hotel to return a conveyance 
procured there for an excursion to Boston. 

The ceremony of introduction being over, the dancing 
commenced with great spirit; the unexpected accession 
of so many young gentlemen, in providing them with part- 
ners, proving highly acceptable to the young ladies, who 
had previously been in a decided majority. They had not 
long enjoyed their exciting amusement, when an odor of 
onions became perceptible in the room, and imagining that 
it proceeded from the culinary regions below stairs, the 
doors leading into the entry were closed. Instead of 
diminishing the perfume, however, it rather increased, until 
it became quite overpowering. The person who seemed 
ffche most annoyed by it was the young gentleman from 
Boston, and while he was endeavoring to ascertain its 
cause, a sudden light broke upon him which caused liis 
exit, for a season, from the room. 

His excursion to Boston had been a combination of 
business and pleasure, and among many commissions he 



FEAG-JIA-NT INTERRUPTION. 89 

■fead been called upon to execute for others, was tlie pur- 
chase of a pound of th^it fragrant drug known as asafoet- 
ida, for an old lady gf his acquaintance, a sort of Lady 
Bountiful, who went about among the sick and the needy, 
administering to their various wants, spiritual, temporal, 
and medicinal. Receivmg it from the druggist in half- 
pound packages, it had been laying in the sleigh-box during 
his homeward journey, from whence it had been transport- 
ed to the pockets ,o,f his coat, where it was totally forgotten 
until it made him ?Lware of its presence, in the heat of the 
room and the excitenaent of the dance. It was soon 
restored to its original place of deposit, and the explana- 
tion given on his return as the cause of his sudden disap- 
pearance, afforded the company no little merriment. Tlue 
dancing, interspersed with singing, was continued with 
unabated spirit until the sjnall hours of the morning, when 
the out-of-town party took their departure, and the Ports- 
mouth delegation sought their various homes. It was to 
tte latter one of those unanticipated seasons of enjoyment 
that leave behind so pleasant an impression; and was not 
forgotten as such by one of them, at least, when nearly 
^fty years had passed away. 

The writer of this heard the '' ghost story" from its 
original relator when she had reached the age of more thai;i 
four score years, and saw the iine.-print Bible from which 
she read in that brilliant mooplight. She said that her 
husband and his friend often alluded to the incident in 
their maturer years, and in such a way, added to the fact 
that they were truthful men, as to convince her of their 
entire sincerity. Modern science would probaWy set it 
down as a case of optical illusion, which may be a correct 
solution of the mystery ; one cannot but be puzzled a little^ 
however, by the fact, that it occurred to t\vo individuals at 
.■51 distance from each other. 



90 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 



RAMBLE XCVI. 

Lying before us* among the ancient newspapers of 
Portsmouth, is the " Neiu Hampshire Gazette " from the 
17th of January to the 14th of April, 1775, published by 
its original proprietor, Daniel Fowle, an-d bearing at its 
head the British coat of arms. The reading matter consists 
chiefly of the doings of the Continental Congress, and 
items of English and domestic Bevy's, relating to the one all- 
absorbing topic — the difficulties between King George and 
his American subjects. The number of April 7th contains 
the well-known eloquent and prophetic speech of the Lord 
Mayor of London " on the motion of Lord North for an 
address to His Majesty against the Americans." The fol- 
lowing synopsis of the advertisements will show who were 
among the leading business men of Portsmouth the year 
previous to the breaking out of the Revolution : 

Jacoh Sheqfe, Jr. — Malaga wine, feathers, choice lime 
and pitch. 

Hugh Henderson^ at his shop " opposite the Printing 
Office " — English and India goods. 

Thomas Martin — English goods, hardware, groceries, 
china and earthern ware. 

Benjamin Austin, at his shop on Spring Hill — Hardware 
and groceries, with " a genteel assortment of silver-plated 
shoe-buckles, of the newest fashion." 

BicJiard Wibird Penhallow, Long Wharf— Russia dyck, 
hardware, steel, cordage, <fcc. 

Joshua Wentworth — Refined bar iron, anchors, &c. 

Noah Parker — New ship bread. New York crackers and 
batter bread. 

George Craigie — English goods, including dry goods and 
hardware. 

Jacob Treadwell, offers for sale an assortment of prime 
moose hides. 

* For this and a number of nketches used as Rambles, we are indebted to. the -pen of Mj;- 
John H Bowles, now residing in Brooklyn, L, I. _ 



OLD NEWSPAPER SKETCHES. 91 

John Moore — Day and night school at his residence near 
the Lone: Wharf. Also has for sale paper hanging-s, car- 
peting-, Holland tiles* for chimneys, Jacob's Law Dictionary, 
onions, &c. [Rather a miscellaneous business.] 

George Doig, painter, from London, executes coats of 
arms the neatest of any in the Province of New Hampshire. 
Shop in King street. 

Thomas Warren, painter, from Boston, paints coats of 
arms. 

Notice.— The person who took a gun out of Dr. Hall 
Jackson^sf entry is requested to return the same to George 
Dame, or he will be prosecuted as a thief. [This sharp 
device^ for frightening a rogue into making restitution, 
resorted to sometimes in our own defy, does not appear to 
have been very successful, as the notice is continued sev- 
eral weeks in succession.] 

After a lapse of twenty years, during which the battles 
of the Revolution and of the Constitution had been fought 
and won, the Gazette seems to awake, like Rip Van Winkle 
from his long slumber, and finds itself reclining most lov- 
ingly in the arms of its ancient political opponent, the 
" Oracle of the Day." Its dimensions are considerably 
enlarged, and the name of Daniel Fowle has given place in 
the imprint to that of his apprentice, John Melcher. The 
lion and the unicorn have disappeared also, to continue 
their fight for the crown in some more congenial sphere. 
As these ancient contestants, the Gazette and Oracle, who 
threw so many paper bomb-shells into each other's camps 
in the olden time, lie so quietly together before me, they 
seem like a pair of venerable gentlemen, who forgetting 
the asperities of their earlier life, smoke the pipe of peace 
together in their declining years. May they both live — 
the Gazette under its time-honored title, and the Oracle 
under that of the " Jouenal " which it has held for forty- 
seven years — for many generations yet to come. 

o Query.— Were not these "tiles" the same article still to be seen in the Warner man- 
sion, anl others of the ancient dwellings of Portsmouth ? 

t Dr. Hall Jackson's residence, in its present modernized form, la still in existence at tho 
northeast corner of Court and Washinstou streets. 



92 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

There are some fifty or sixty copies of the "Gazette" and 
''Oracle," of various dates in the years 179G, '7 and '8, conr 
tainhig a large amount of interesting matter, much of which 
has passed into history, and much more equally worthy of 
being placed on permanent record, that, but for its preser^ 
vation through some such method as this, would have been 
consigned to oblivion. Among the state papers are the 
annual and other messages of Presidents Wasliington and 
Adams, and the messages and proclamations of John Taylor 
Oilman, Governor of Ncav Hampshire, and Increase Sum- 
ner, Governor of Massachusetts. There is also a letter of 
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to General Washington, 
signed by the familiar names of Paul Revere, Grand Masr 
ter, and Tsaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Master, with General 
Washington's reply — the original of which is at this day 
one of their most valued relics. 

Much prominence is given to the interesting events then 
transpiring in Europe. France was in a transition state 
between the period known as the Reign of Terror, and 
that when Napoleon assumed the reins of government and 
obliterated the last vestiges of what had been little else 
than an empty name — the French Republic. " Citizen Bon.- 
aparte, General-in-Chief of the Army of Italy," was win- 
ning for himself a name that will exist through all time. 
Many of his official letters to the Executive Directory, the 
then existing government of France, are published in full ; 
among others, that relating to the battle of Lodi, in which 
while giving due credit to Berthier, Massena, D'Allemagne, 
and others of his genferals for their heroic daring in the 
passage of the bridge across the Adda, modestly omits 
even the slightest allusion to his own participation in that 
w^orld-renowned event. I find in these papers many proofs 
of the corrections of history in relation to the Little Cor- 
poral. Plere is a confirmation of the truth of one of the 
many anecdotes respecting him, related by himself in one 



OLD NEWSPAPER SKETCHES. §3 

of his ddspatches to the Directory. " The day previous 
to our affair at Lodi, Avhile seeing a brigade file off, a h'ght- 
infantry man approached me and said, •' General, we must 
do so aiid so.' ' Sir,' said I, ' Avill you be silent ?' when he 
immediately disappeared. I have since endeavored to find 
him — for what he hinted was exactly what I had secretly 
ordered — but much to my regret I sought for him in vain." 
The following incident of Napoleon's earlier life as a 
soldier, I have never met with before, and if not new to 
others, is worth repeating. On rejoining his regiment at 
Auxonne, in 1789, after a term of absence, he took with 
him a younger brother of but the age of twelve years. On 
being asked by one of his companions why he had brought 
with him a youth of so tender an age, he replied, " I wish 
hiin to enjoy a great spectacle — ^that of a nation which 
will speedily be either regenerated or destroyed." He 
little fancied, probably, at that periodj in the subordinate 
capacity of lieutenant of artillery, how vast an influence 
he was destined to wield in the future destinies of France. 

It is very evident, from the tone of these journals, that 
the American press were accustomed to regard Napoleon 
at this period through the medium of his own personal 
merits, rather than the blurred vision of British spectacles, 
tts many were inclined to do in later years when the star 
of his fortunes was waning, or when his position as arbiter 
of the destines of Europe, was changed to that of a pow- 
erless exile upon the rock of St. Helena. 

The following are a few of the nardes that appear in thd 
advertisements of 1798 : J. Whipple, Colleictor of Customs ; 
Martin Parry, Samuel Larkin, James tlundlettj Georgd 
Long, Clement Jackson, Julm Shapleyj Edward Parry, Latig, 
Brierly & Co., Beuj. BigeloW^, Jr., Nathaniel A. Haven, 
Fairbanks & Sparhawk, George Wentworth, Leigh & 
Bowles, James Sheafe, Peter Coffin, Joseph Green, Neil 
Mclutyre, John Noble & Co., Wm. Neil, John Pomeroy, (in 
Buck street, near the sign of" Noah's Ark.") 



94 EAMBIyES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

There was no lack of amusement^ it would seem, at 
Portsmouth, in the latter portion of the last century, of 
which that venerable temple of Melpomene and Terpsi- 
chore, the old Assembly House, was the arena. At one 
time the advertisements announce the Boston company as 
pf rPorming tragedy and comedy ; and at another, Mrs. and 
Miss Arnold, and Miss Green, of the dramatic profession, 
are aided by Portsmouth amateurs, in the production of 
light comedy and farce, with an occasional attempt at 
tragedy. Young Nerval, in the tragedy of Douglas, " by 
a young gentleman of Portsmouth." Old Pickle, in the 
farce of the Spoiled Child, " by a gentleman of Portsmouth," 
etc. Here is a portion of the entertainment for March 
21st, 1788, that from its exceeding novelty is worth bring- 
ing to light. It is well for Barnum that he did not flour- 
ish in those days ; the Fejee Mermaid or Woolly Horse 
would hardly have saved him from being shorn of his lau- 
rels. "A favorite tragic piece called ' The Babes in the 
Woods,'' wherein will be displayed the father and mother 
lying on their beds, giving charge of their children to 
their brother, who promiees to take care of them. After 
the death of the parents, which takes place before the 
audience, the uncle hires two ruffians to kill them ; they 
figlit, and one of them is killed ; also the Death of the 
Babes ; a Robin will descend and cover them with leaves ; 
being one of the greatest curiosities ever exhibited. Like- 
wise an Angel will descend, uncover the bodies, and fly 
away with them ! To conclude with the fatal end of the 
cruel uncle, who is carried off hy a large Serpent I ! " The 
Working up of the final catastrophe, the retribution that 
overtook the " cruel uncle" through the agency of tliat 
" large Serpent," was a stroke of genius, never excelled in 
the modern school of sensation dramas. 

The most youthful and the last of these relics of ancient 
journalism, is ''The Literally Mirror,^' of various dates in 



OLD NEWSPAPERS, 95 

1808, '-'publislied by Stephen Sewell, in Court street, oppo- 
site the Brick Market," — neat and tasteful in its typograph- 
ical execution, and containing a judicious variety of origi- 
nal and selected matter. It was published, I think, but a 
single year, though deserving a longer lease of life. 

As I look upon these ancient sheets, especially those of 
ante-revolutionary date that have so long survived the 
generation who were their first readers, the thought occurs 
to me that among the many and great improvements time 
has made since they first issued from the press, there is 
none greater than that in newspaper-printing itself. Fancy 
presents to my view Mij. Daniel Fowle standing by the side 
of the quaint-looking structure, but little superior in its 
mechanism to an old-fashioned cider mill, on which these 
antique copies of the Gazette, at the rate of fifty to an hun- 
dred per hour, received their impression; while that eccen- 
tric specimen of colored humanity. Prime, his serving man, 
inks the types with a pair of sheepskin balls, black and 
glistening as his own face. Equally incredulous would 
have been both Prime and kis master, to learn, that in the 
not far distant future a piece of mechanism would be pro- 
duced, wondrous alike for grace, beauty and celerity, Irom 
whence twenty-five thousand sheets, printed, folded and 
counted, could be thrown in a single hour, nor less so that 
steam would be the power by which this marvellous ma- 
chine could be set in motion. 



RAMBLE XCVII. 



Cliristian. Shore — IT'i-eeinan's I»oiiat— The Haixi House — 
Tlie AVaterhoase ZETaiiaily. 

In a former Ramble we said we were unable to state the 
origin of the name Chnaiian Shore, given to the north part 



06 RAMBLi:^ ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

of our city. We since learn that a century ago, when' 
there were but few families beyond wh6re the North mill 
bridge now is, there Were several who were strict adher- 
ents to puritan principles, while others were more loose in 
their habits, and might be found sometimes late at night at 
Foss's Tavern, enjoying their flip, and cracking their jokes. 
When the hour for parting arrived, " Well, we must leave 
for Christian Shore,'" was frequently the jocose remark ; 
and from it that part of Portsmouth took its name. In the 
town books, that part of the town, two hundred years ago, 
was designated as "the land on the other side of Straw- 
berry Bank Creek." 

One of the most beautiful locations in Portsmouth for 
river proximity, extensive prospect and varied laAdsca|)ey 
is that above Portsmouth Bridge, knoAvn of late years as 
Freeman's Point, but for nearly two ce;^turies previously 
as Ham's Point. It is upproaclied by Gatts's lane, and si 
ride of a third of a mile from North road brings you to the 
spot where the old deserted mansion house of William Ham, 
with the marks of where the corn-house and barn once 
stood,' remained until it was taken down in 1868 or '69 ; 
and the enclosed square in its rear contains the graves of 
five or six generations. Rough stoiies mark the head and 
foot of each mound, but they tell not a name or date of 
those of olden time who sleep there. 

It is said that three brothers of the Ham family came to 
this country previous to 164G: we have, ho-^^ever, the 
name of William only, who in 1G52 had a grant of fifty 
acres of land at what is now called Freeman's Point, 
where he erected a dwelling, which is probably the build- 
ing now standing there. In 1651, Mattlew Ham was grant- 
6d by the town "a lot of land next to his father's new 
dwelling house." In 1660, Matthew llam was granted 
tt\-ei^ty five' acres — which appears to have been between 
the Point form and the present main road. In 1668^ there 



freeman's point. 97 

was a Jolin Ham in Dover, who might have been ainother 
son of WilHam. 

In 1G64, it appears by the town book that "Wnr. Ham, 
widow Ham, and the rest who live on the other side of 
Strawberry Bank Creek" made complaint that William 
Cotton was interfering with their rights by cMming his 
division of the public land on that shore, whereupon the 
selectmen decreed that William Ham should have sixty-six 
acres, joining on the north side Richard and John Cutt's 
two hundred acre farm.* That Matthew Ham should have 
tw^enty-five acres, on the west of William's, also bounded 
on the north-west by the Cutt farm. Roger Knight had 
thirteen acres, assigned between Matthew Ham's and Rich- 
ard Jackson's. Richard Seaward had thirteen acres, east 
of Knight's ; and Richard Jackson was decreed twenty-six 
acres. 

On the latter grant the old Jackson house of two stories 
now stands, which was probably built as early as 1664, and 
is now more than two centuries old ; probably the most 
ancient house in the city. It is a rare specimen of the! 
architecture of the early times. The roof on the north 
side extends to the ground, covering a wood-house in con- 
nection with the dwelling. The frame is of oak, and the 
timber which forms the sills projects into the lower rooms, 
affording around them a continuous and stationary seat for 
the children of six generations. It is now owned by Mr. 
Nathaniel Jackson, a regular descendant of the original 
proprietor. 

The farm of the first William Ham came down by entaih 
ment to the oldest sons through four or five generations. 
We have no early family genealogy, but as the name of 
William Ham is continued regularly in the tax lists for 
many years, there is little doubt that the eldest sons for 

* This Ciitt's farm wa'i that which Madam Ursula ocoupied thirty year^i after, when she 
was killed by the laiUans, aaJ is now the beautiful country seat of iklark II. Weui- 
worth, Esq. 



9'8 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

several generations bore tliat name and in succession in- 
herited the house and possessed the farm. 

The owner in the year 1700 was Samuel Ham. His old- 
est son, William, who was born there about 1712, married 
Elizabeth Waterhouse and had seven sons — Samuel, who 
inherited the homestead) Timothy,t George, William, 
Ephraim, Nathaniel, and Benjamin, — and one daughter, who 
married Capt. John Tuckerman. The farm came by right 
of primogeniture into possession of Samuel, who broke the 
entailment, and more than forty or fifty years since the 
farm passed out of the family. 

It was at a time when the hostile Indians were prowling 
in this neighborhood, just after Madam Ursula Cutt had 
been murdered on the ac\joining farm, that the Ham boys 
were left at home one Sunday while the family boat had 
borne a load to the old mill-dam meeting. In the midst of 
the services, a powder explosion was heard. The meeting 
was closed instantly, and the worshippers, putting them- 
selves in position to meet the Indians, proceeded to the 
Point. They were agreeably disappointed to find that the 
boys had affrighted themselves as well as the whole village, 
by the explosion of the great powder-horn. 

About a third of a mile north of the old Ham mansion- 
house on the Point, between the great elm and the shore, 
in a grove, is the cellar of the house of Timothy Water- 
house. He was the third son of Kichard Waterhouse, the 
tanner, who married Sarah, the daughter of Dr. Penald 
Fernald, and owned and occupied Peirce's Island, in 1688. 
The other sons of Richard W. were Richard, born in 1674, 
and Samuel, born in 1676. 

Timothy Waterhouse located himself on this cove above 
Freeman's Point probably soon after the year 1700. He 

t The children of Timothy Ham were Timothy. William, Supply, Hetiiy, Elizabeth, Sarah 
(miirried Saniui'l Akermau,) Mary (married Samuel brewster), Thebe (married Charles 
lleding), Auu and Jane. 



THE WATERHOUSE FAMILY^ 09 

was also a tanner and shoemaker. Here were his tan-pits, 
and his cultivated acres. His connection with the town 
was by the river. His wife was Miss Moses. Their chil- 
dren were three sons-^John, Joseph and Timothy ; and six 
daughters, — Margaret, Mary^ Ruth, Sarah, Elizabeth and 
Lydia. The parents had the ability to instruct their chih 
dren, and they gave them a better education at home than 
girls generally received in that day. John settled in Bar- 
rington. Joseph settled in some town in Maine, and TlmO' 
thy removed to Rhode Island, where he became one of the 
Royal CounciL Timothy had eleven sons ; among them 
was the celebrated Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, a Professor 
at Cambridge, and the father of vaccination in this coun- 
try. [His own son in the year 1800 was successfully vac- 
cinated for the kine pox by him, — the first experiment 
made in this country.] 

Margaret became the wife of Samuel Brewster at the 
Plains, and was the mother of eight sons and five daugh- 
ters. Their first daughter J/ar^are^ married Mr. Furbisher 
of Boston. Samuel removed to Barrington- Moses inher- 
ited the Plains house. Timothy died at 21. John went to 
sea and never returned. Abigail married Leader Nelson. 
Mary married Samuel Winkley of Barrington, and was the 
mother of Winkley the Shaker elder. Daniel occupied the 
house next east of the Steam Factory previous to the 
Revolution — in 1775 removed to Rochester, and in 1795 
located in Wolfeborough. David married Mary Gains, 
daughter of John, and built the house in Deer street in 
1766. William (Colonel) married Ruth Foss, daughter of 
Zachariah. Paul removed to Barrington. Margaret 2d 
(born after the death of the 1st) married Joseph Hayes of 
Barrington. Lydia married Joseph Hicks of Madbury, the 
owner of '^ Hicks' Hill." 

31ary married Mr. Spinney, a ship-carpenter. She had 
one daughter and three sons, all of whom died nearly at 



100 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the same time. Her desire that her children might be re- 
stored was answered — having gigain in due time three sons 
and a daughter. 

Buth married John Gains, the father of Coh George 
Gains of the Revokition, and of Mary the wife of David 
Brewster. From the latl;^er descended Samuel, Mary and 
John G, Brewster. 

Sarah was one day visiting her sister Ruth after mar- 
riage, when Capt. Zachariah Foss in passing saw her. He 
spoke to his associate on the beauty of Mrs. Gains, when 
he was informed that he mistook the person. " If that is 
hot Gains's wife she is mine," was the reply. His suit Avas 
successful. On the total loss of his property in a few 
years his wife disposed of about ten dollars' worth of fine 
linen and obtained the means for opening a place of re- 
freshment on a small scale. As their means increased, in 
after years they built a large stage and tavern house on the 
spot on Fleet street now occupied by the brick stable of 
the Franklin House. The house afterwards came into pos- 
session of John Weare, the father of Mrs. Mary A. Gotham. 

The children of Zachariah and Sarah Foss were eight 
daughters. Sally^ the wife of Capt. Cochran who had com- 
mand of Fort William and Mary when captured by the 
Patriots in 1774. [Mrs. Charles Hardy was the youngest 
daughter of Capt. Cochran.] Mary, the wife of Joseph 
Young of Newmarket. Elizabeth married Thomas Flagg 
of Chester. [After living together three or four years her 
husband Was detected coining money, and eloped with his 
own aunt to Virginia. He took his two young children, 
and the mother never saw her two sons again until ihey 
were married men.] Ruth married Col. William Brewster. 
Margaret married Capt. Cullom. There were also Joanna, 
Olive and ,/lhigail. 

Once in her husband's absence at sea, Mrs. T^oss sold a 
rich brocade silk dress pattern and purchased the frame of 



THE WATEEHOUSE FAMILY. 101 

a house with the proceeds. The house is now standing irj 
Washington street, the Low house. Wliat Foss acquired 
by the industry and frugality of his first wife, he lost by 
the extravagance of a second, who was a widow of Adams 
of Boston. Among her bills contracted before the marr 
riage was one of several hundred pounds for sperm candles. 
It took nearly all his estate to pay her old debts. 

Elizahetl}, married William Ham, above referred to, and 
lived on the farm at Freeman's Point. They had seven 
sons and a daughter, whose names are given elsewhere. 

Lydia married Capt. Colby, who sailed in the employ of 
Sir William Pepperell. After Colby's death, Capt. Ephraim 
Dennett of Christian Shore took a liking to her,* and to 
save the trouble of frequently visiting Kittery in the 
winter, paid her board at a relative's on Christian Shore by 
furnishing the family with their wood for the winter. In 
the spring they were ready to be married, and took up 
their residence in the promipent Dennett house, now better 
known as the " Bee Hive.''' After a few years she became 
a widow, and her reputati,on as belonging to a family of 
smart girls brought her to the notice of John Plummer 
of Rochester. For an account of his romantic interview 
when she was dressed in her leather apron, the reader is 
^'eferred to the 75th Ramble, 345th page. Lydia had but 
one son, Jeremiah Dennett. [His children were George, 
Ephraim, John Plummer, Mark, Jereraiah, William, Lydia, 
.Susannah, Ann and Catherine. 

Thus have we almost unwittingly, while standing over 
•the old Waterhouse cellar, conjured up an army of which 
■the germs here first had existence. We can point also to 
some remains of the old house which was removed from 
ithe cellar about 92 years ago. It may be found in the an- 
cient mansion house of the late Timothy Ham senior, at 
the corner of North and Dearborn streets. But those who 
gave life to the house a .century and a .third ago, are sub- 
jects of more interest. 



102 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

There was no little life in that old house — which had 
under its roof six merry girls and three roguish boys and 
a slav^e — and sometimes the staid old folks would tell them 
that they almost raised the evil one. One winter evening, 
somewhere about 1725 the parents were absent for the 
night, the snow was fast falling, and the boys and girls 
resolved to have a good time. So the fire was enlivened 
with fresh wood, and the dance began. The slave had a 
good voice, and as he capered round in a " country dance " 
merrily sang — 

"Don't you see how my head does wag — 
I>oi)'t you Bee how my shouldeis lag — 
Don't you see how my hips do sliake — 
Don't you see what paius 1 take, 
In dancing of my quivering shake !" 

In the height of their hilarity, which would hardly have 
been enjoyed in the old folks' presence, there was a violent 
thumping at the door. In that stormy night, far away from 
any neighbors, and from any road, there was something 
frightful in that token. The singing was hushed, and that 
parental admonition to beware of " raising the evil one," 
seemed to flash suddenly over their superstitious minds. 
Margaret, the oldest and bravest, led the way to the door, 
but no sooner had she opened it than she saw what she 
thought Satan himself. The figure was Avhite, with a horri- 
ble black face deep in a white lopped hat, which was hang- 
ing down over each shoulder ! That the Old Scratch had 
now come they all believed, Margaret fainted, and it was 
sometime before the ugly looking but faithful slave of 
Nathaniel Jackson was recognized beneath his snow cov- 
ering, — who had " come to get Massa's shoes-" 

Could those nine children now be recalled on this spot, 
the fright of that night would doubtless be one of the first 
events they would bring to remembrance. 

The Rambler feels some personal interest in that family, 
for three of those sisters, Margaret, Ruth and Elizabeth 
Waterhouse, all hold to him in difierent lines the relation 
of great-grandmothers. 



THE PICKERING FAMILY. 103 



EAMBLE XCYIII. 

Tlie IPiclceriiag IFainily. 

James Col.emax Pickering died at Newington March 
30, 1862, aged 90 years G months. He was in his man- 
ners, character and appearance a gentleman of the old 
school. He was tall, erect, of large frame, and comely in 
figure and feature. He owned and cultivated the ancient 
Pickering homestead ; was the oldest person in town, and 
enjoyed through his long pilgrimage the confidence and 
respect of the community. He was a descendant, in the 
sixth generation, from Hon. John Pickering, Speaker of the 
Colonial Assembly and King's Attorney General of the 
Province of New Hampshire.* He lived and died where he 
was born, in the old Pickering mansion, and where were 
born his grandfather Joshua Pickering (father of late 
Ephi-aim Pickering) and his uncle, the late Hon. John 
Pickering, Chief Justice of the State. 

By his death his beautiful homestead farm, which has 
been in this family from the first settlement of New Hamp- 
shire, and descended from father to son for nearly two, 
hundred years without a deed in all that time, will pass 
into the possession of another generation. Incidents of 
this kind serve occasionally as landmarks to indicate how 
faft and far the present generation are drifting from the 
English habits which for many generations characterized 
the people of this section of the State. 

He was the last of a family of twelve children, all of 
whom were alive at the death of their father, more than 

* The wives of the late Dr. Nathan Parker, Isaac Lyman. Wm. K. Atkinson, and Charles 
Walker, who were sisters, and the late William I'ickering, State Treasurer, were descend- 
ants of the same John I'ickering as are Thomas B Aldrich of Boston. James F. Joy of 
Detroit. Wm. P. Haines of Ki Ideford, Wm P. Weeks of Canaan. Albert R. Hatch and John 
S. H. b'rink of Portsmouth, the wife of Josiah Minot of Concord, and the wife of Wm. H. Y. 
Hackelt of Portsmouth. 



104 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

half a century ago, and followed Lim frojn the same hous.e 
to the grave. They were — 

Anna, the wife of Samuel Fahyan of ^^ewington — born 
Feb. 28, 1758 ; died Dec. 26th, 1833, aged 75. 

Sarah T., wife of Valentine Pickering — born April 11^ 
1760 ; died Jan. 1, 1823, aged ;62. 

Deborah Rollins, wife of Paul Rollins of Newington — 
;born Jan. 15, 1762; died March 22d, 1846, aged 83. 

Lydia, the wife of Theodore Furber of PortsiAOuth — 
;born March 1, 1764; died Jan. 3, 1842, aged 78. 

Olive Rindge — born March 22, 1765; died Sept. 16, 
1840, unmarried, aged 75, 

Joshua Pickering, of North Hampton — born March 8, 
1768 ; died Jan. 25, 1852, aged 84. 

Joseph W. Pickering, of Portsmouth — born March 15, 
1770 ; died May W, 1850, aged 80. 

James C. Pickering — born Sept. 30, 1771 ; die.d March 
30, 1862, aged &,0i^2^ 

Mary, wife of Joseph Perkins of Kennebunkpiort — born 
Nov. 8, 1773 ; died Aug. 1, 1849, aged 76. 

Elizabeth, wife of Jonathan Stone of Kennebimkport — 
born Oct. 23, H75 ; died July 3,^ 1834, aged 59. 

Abigail, wife of Matthew B. Packer of Greenland ; born 
Oct. 4, 1777 ; died Sept. 3, 1857, aged 80. 

Ephraim Pickering, of Newington — born Sept. 28, 1779 ; 
and killed by an explosion of a magazine at Fort Constitu- 
tion, July 4, 1809 ; and died in the house now occupied bj^ 
Mr. Hackett, 69 Congress street, aged 30. 

The average age o£ the twelve children was 73 ; a case 
of family longevity ra^-ely found. Their added ages, with 
that of their parents, -was over a -thousand years. .Of the 
eleven married, all ^except Ephraim outlived their respec- 
tive wives and husbands, by many years. 

Lydia (Coleman) Pickering, the widow of the late Col. 
Ephraim P. whose twelve children are above nanied^ die(i 



THE PICKERIXG FAMILY. 105 

in the same house, February IG, 1832, aged 91. She was 
the mother of twelve children, ten of whom were aHve at 
her death ; 60 grandchildren, 43 of whom were then liv- 
ing; 93 great-grandchildren, 81 of whom were then living; 
and five of the fifth generation: — 170 descendants, 139 of 
whom w^ere living at her death. 

Mr. James C. Pickering and two of his brothers, Joseph 
W. and Joshua, if we mistake not, were subscribers to the 
Portsmouth Oracle when it commenced in 1793, and con- 
tinued to take it when the name of the paper was changed 
to the Portsmouth Journal, and as long as they lived. 
Whether that good state of mind which results from a 
consciousness of dealing justly with others tends to long 
life, is a problem in philosophy we will not attempt now 
to discuss, — but the fact that they all three paid promptly 
their annual subscriptions our books give evidence. 

The first John Pickering, of whom an account is given 
in Ramble VII. had two sons; John, born in 1640, who in- 
herited Pickering's Neck, and Thomas, who had his farm in 
what is now Newington. Thomas's first son James, born 
about 1680, was the first male Pickering born in NoAving- 
son. He was a lieutenant in the French war; was married 
in 1717. He had three brothers and eight sisters. One of 
his sisters married a Brackett, from whom descended the 
Brackett family now living in Greenland , one married a 
►Seavey, of Rye, who was an ancestor of the Sheafe family — 
the mother of the wife of the first Jacob Sheafe ;* another 
married a Weeks, of Greenland ; one a GrovvJ one a Cham- 
berlain. From the old Lieut, sprang all the Pickerings of 
Newmarket (some of whom have emigrated to the South), 

* We will in this connection carrect a mistake made in a former Kamble, respecting: the 
locality of the mansion house, in which Hannah >eavey, the wife of the first Jacob Sheate, 
was born. The liousc was on tbe beautiful spot where the new liouseof .Mr. Eben L. i^eavey 
now stands, at the head of Seavey's Cieek, on the road leading from Sagamore Creek to 
Wallis's Sands. The old hc>use was taken down but a few years since. His grandfather, 
\Vm Seavey, a brother of llattuah, inherited it from his father. Connected with the house 
is an excellent bathing house on the Creek, and the beauty and convenience of the locality 
attracts many boarders from abroad In the summer months. 



106 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

all those in Rochester and Barnstead, besides what remain 
in Newington. The great-grandfather of Charles W. Pick- 
ering, of the U. S. Navy, was a son of Lt. James. Joshua, 
a brother of Lieut. James, married a Smithson, from Ports- 
mouth. He had six sons. One of them, Judge Pickering, 
father of the late Jacob S. Pickering, married his second- 
cousin; a sister of Col. James Sheafe. His second brother, 
Thomas, married Col. Downing's daughter for his first wife; 
a Miss Janvrin of Portsmouth for his second. From him 
descended all the Pickerings now living in Greenland, and 
three or four families now living in Newington. The lato 
Pichard Pickering was his son. His grandson, Col. Thomas 
Pickering, commanded a regiment stationed on Peirce's 
Island during the last war with England ; so it seems up to 
that time the old military spirit had not subsided. 



RAMBLE XCIX. 

ZPiclvering House in "Vauglian Street — EcT"ward Hart — 
GJ-en. IPeabody's IPex^ficly — Capt. Cullana, &c. 

The Pickering mansion, in Vaughan street, was built not 
far from the year 1780, by Mr. Edward Hart, a baker, the son 
of Col. John Hart, who in an excursion to Louisburg in 1758 
died there of the small pox. Col. Hart left eleven sons by 
three -syives : Thomas a mariner died in Europe, William a 
mathematician, George a blacksmith (father of the late 
George Hart of Deer street,) John a ropemaker, Benjamin 
(the father of the late venerable Hanson M. Hart,) Edward 
a baker, Richard who settled on a farm at Newington, Jo- 
seph, Henry and Nathaniel, blacksmiths, and Oliver a house 
carpenter. (Messrs. Richard Hart of Russell street and 
Daniel Hart were their cousins.) 



PICKEEIXG HOUSE. 107 

Edward Hart, as above stated, built this house, and was 
at the time the baker of Portsmouth. The building on the 
north of the house, now a livery stable, was built for his 
store and bake-house. Between the dwelling-house and the 
bake-house was a shop for selling bread. At that day 
wheeled vehicles were scarce., and the hot bread was put 
in two large pannier baskets, and placed on the horse's 
back, behind the carrier. The customers had to be on the 
look-out, as there was no dismounting. In rainy weather 
and in hot sunshine, a wide-spread umbrella v/as raised, and 
the steam rising from the baskets and the horse's heated 
sides, gave some premonitions of the steam travel of later 
days. It was found, however, that horses could stand this 
business but a short time — tlie hot bread continually ap- 
plied to their backs, was soon fatal. Bread carts were af- 
terwards brought into use. 

In a few years after Mr, Hart built this house, the Uni- 
yersalist Society purchased the lot in the rear and erected 
the meeting-house. Mr. H. was not pleased with its prox- 
imity to his premises, and remarked to its projector — "It is 
no matter, I shall have it for a stable one of these days." 
The reply was, " Well it may be so — for our Lord and 
Master was born in a stable." The house was used for 
public worship by different societies during the life of Mr. 
Hart — although there have been times since when it has 
sunk beneath the dignified name of a stable. 

As Deputy Sheriff, Mr. Hart's bondsmen wore Judge 
John Pickering and Dr. William Cutter. Imprisonment for 
debt was the law and custom of those times — and among: 
the men who would not pay their debts was Gen. Xathaniel 
Peabody of Exeter. When on a visit to Portsmouth, a 
writ was put into Mr. Hart's hands, and he served it upon 
him taking him as a prisoner. " Money, bail, or jail,"' was 
the word. Money he could not command— bail he could 
not give — and so jail was the only horn of the dilemma 



108 RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

ieft. Gen. jf. said lie preferred imprisonment in Exeter 
jail, and so tlie accommodating Sheriff, in respect for the 
high mihtary position of Ids charge, started with him for 
|]xeter. At PortsmQuth Plains, the General told him he 
did not like to have the show of so long a ride in the cus- 
tody of a sheriff, and if he would allow him to proceed 
alone, he would deliver himself to |Iart the next day at 
Exeter. Hart took his personal promise. Gen. P. Avent 
home alone, and the next day the Sheriff was promptly on 
the ground. Gen. P. however on arriving home, made his 
house his- castle, and kept out of sight. This made the 
Sheriff responsible for a largo debt, and was his ruin. 

The bondsmen paid the debt, and Judge Pickering took 
the house and building in Vaiighan street, to which he 
removed when his residence in Market street was burned 
by the fire of 1802. Dr, William Cutter took a parcel of 
land on the west and north sides of the North burying 
ground, in consideration of what he had to pay as bonds- 
man. This land Avas afterwards purchased of Dr. Cutter 
ty the town, and added to the original acre Avhich Mr. 
Hart's father had originally granted to the town for a 
burying ground. 

This misplaced confidence of Mr. Hart was felt by him 
and his family through life, which closed some fifty years 
since. 

We will not resuscitate the remains of one who at an 
earlier day was an occupant of the next house north. 

When I>avid Cullam came to Portsmouth, we do not 
know. As early as 1773 he was married to a Miss Currier. 
§he had the reputation of being an excellent Avoman, and 
he an ai^fectionate and kind husband. Their offspring Aver^. 
one son, Avho bore, his father's name, and died in early life 
unmarried ; and one daughter. Amy. She Avas born about 
the year 1774. Her mother died Avhen Amy was not more 
V.ian three years old. Im 17^6 Ca|)t. Cyllam was Avithont 



CAPT. DAVID CULLAM. 109 

much property, ranking with the lowest in tax assessment. 
In 1777 his taxes had increased about four fold, and in 
1779 he was one of the rich men of Portsmouth, being one 
of the twenty highest tax payers. He was a lieutenant 
with Ehjah Hall, under John Paul Jones, either in the 
BoHance, or the Ranger, or Bonne Homme Richard. 
There is a naval anecdote of Capt. Cullam which one of 
our old citizens, now dead, used to relate, as told him by 
Capt. Cullam. When sailing Avitli Jones, they had ou 
board a large number of green hands. One day a number 
of vessels hove in sight. The number was rather terriiy- 
ing to the crew. Have we got to fight them ? What are 
they ? — were the general inquiries. " They are all seventy- 
fours," said Capt. Culkim, " we shall have to fight them, 
and they will kill you all — so prepare for the worst!'' 
They did fight and take them— valuable merchantmen, and 
the five shares owned by Capt. C. as Lieut, was a fortune 
to him. Capt. C. had not been much in the habit of at- 
tending church. One Sunday^ after he became rich, he 
\vas seen in his pew in the North Church, and the old gen- 
tleman to whom Ave just now referred, when they next 
met, referred to the rare occurrence. "^^ 0," said he, '' they 
isent me the devil of a tax bill for my pew, and I mean to 
get my money's worth." (There Avas a property assess- 
ioient on poAvs.) 

After the death of his first Avife, Capt. Cullam broke up 
house-keeping and boarded at a hotel, kept by Zachariah 
E^oss, on the spot in Fleet street Avhere the stable of the 
Franklin House now stands. Foss had three daughtersi 
One of them married Col. Wm. BreAvster, and another mar- 
ried Capt. Cochrane Avho had the command of Fori. William 
and Mary, at NeAVcastle^ Avhen it Avas captured by the citi- 
Eens in 1775 ; and the other daughter^ Margaret, Capt. 
Cullam took as his second Avife, .She \A^as handsome and 
neat in her personal appearance, but in disposition very 



110 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

passionate. They first went to lioitsekeeping in tlie man- 
sion on' the corner of Hanover and Vanghan streets, 
aftertvards occupied by Col. Supply Clapp, and now by 
the heirs of John Hill. Capt. C. removed into a house on 
the opposite side of the street, afterwards owned by Capt. 
George F. Blunt, on the spot where Samuel Cleaves' house 
now stands. In 1780 he lived in a house on Deer street, 
near where the Concord Depot now is. lie still followed 
the sea — but his prize money, like that of many others, 
went as easil}" as it came, and in 1784 he was again reduced 
to comparative poverty — paying only a poll tax. He died 
in soffle foreign port about the year 1785, By his second 
wife he had several children, all of whom died in childhood. 
Amy, the daughter of the first wife, received from her 
&tepmother rather cruel treatment. So apparent was it, 
that the friends of the child interposed in her behalf, and 
s-he was placed in the family of Mr. Daniel Eindge, who 
occupied a hotise on the corner of Market and Daniel 
streets. She became tlie companion and assistant of Mrs. 
R. an.l received the education of a daughter. It was hei'e 
that the estimable merchant whose shop was in close prox-^ 
iniity to the house on the north, first became acquainted 
with her — and no less fascinating were her attractions by 
seeing Ifer, like Rebecca, bringing Water from that well,- 
which is now on the premises of S. H. Sitoes & Co. It 
Avas a remark one of our reverend doctors of divinity 
used to make, that while he had highly estimable daugh-' 
ters in his son's wives— there was none he loved better 
than Amy. 



PICKERING HISTORY. Ill 

RAMBLE C. 

jyioi-e or IPicliierin.g's History— Col. -A-tlvinsoii.— "Woodbury 
Ijan-gdon.— Revolutionary Iii.cid.ents. 

Soon after the issue of the First Series of the Rambles, 
the following corainunication to the Rambler was received 
from one of the historians of New Hampshire, giving some 
incidents in the local history of Portsmouth, that have not 
before been recorded in this publication. 

Concord, Feb. 13, 1860. 

Mr Dear Sir : — Your " Rambles " have extended to this 
place, — fur which receive my thanks, as I have been very 
much interested in them. 

I have made some notes and corrections in my copy,— 
which as they refer to other authors, as Avell as to the 
"Rambles," I sul>join for your perusal. 

On page 18th occurs the name Warnerion. This name is 
thus given by Belknap, Farmer and others, but it is Wan- 
nerton, as I have the proof in the original letters of Mason, 
G-orges and Gibbens, now before me. On same page is Goe. 
This word stumbled Belknap, Farmer, Moore, Kelley and 
other?, — but should not stumble you or me, as ive know the 
name still is extant inNewington and Greenland. It is Gee, 
as it occurs in — John Gee Pickering. Gee was a family 
connection of the Pickering's. It was rig-ht in the 
Appendix of Belknap, but Dr. Farmer altered it in a foot 
note to Goe. I have the original letter of Ambrose Gib- 
bens, of 1G33, given in Belknap's Appendix, in which the 
name is unmistakably Gee. This settle? the question. 

On page 47, you say, '' as jarly as 1636 John Pickering," 
&c. John Pickering was here as early as 1G33, as I have 
a bill of his now before me, the caption or heading of which 
reads thus : — 

'•'John Pickering Creditor unto ]\[r. Ambrose Gibbons in 
the yeares 1633 and 1631 as foil." — 



112 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Then follows the labor of Thomas Crockett and the 
altering of frame and chimney of a certain house — furnish- 
ing boards, nails — and plastering a chimney, — all amounting 

to $21 showing that Pickering was a carpenter. 

This work was done at Newichewannock, and the bill is 
receipted thus : His 

John 1 Pickering. 

Test, Charles Kneill. sicjne. 

Page 49. — Capt. Thomas Pickering was killed at Annap- 
olis, Nova Scotia. So says a petition from Mrs. Pickering.* 
He married Dorothy Stover of Cape Neddock. 

Page 53. — Capt. John Pickering was also member of the 
Assembly in 1G85 and speaker of the same — as I have a 
Bill passed by the House of that date and signed John 
Pickeri/i, Speaker. It was non concurred in by the Council. 

Page 104, — Col. Atkinson also had the command of ihe 
Regiment in the '' Canada Expedition," so called, of 1746. 
A thousand men were voted by June, and by the first of 
July 800 men were raised or enlisted, and Col. Atkinson, 
was ordered by Gov. Wentworth to occupy and repair Fort 
William and Mary, with his Regiment. He did as ordered, 
and added many guns to the batteries there and at "Jerry's 
Point." The first of November, the Regiment went into 
" Winter Quarters" at Sanbornton near "Union Bridge" 
where they built a Fort — which I have called "Fort At' 
kinson." The regiment remained there till the fall of 1747, 
when the Expedition to Canada and the Regiment was 
abandoned. 

Page 113. — Gov. Wentworth was Knighted for his ser- 
vices — was he not? 

Page 152. — Are you not mistaken as to Gen. Whipple's? 
being appointed General by the Council — or being ordered 

■~ We are happy to have this }:iot attested so well. It is said in the N. H. Historical 
Collections th t Piokeriufr was killed by the Indians at Cascn. Mr Willis, tlie historian of 
i'liiiliinii. RavB thii no s^'jU inci(Jent occurred at that lime at that jilace. There is now no 
doubt that it OLCUrrcd at jinnujwUs. 



GEN. WHIPPLE. 113 

with one-fourth of liis command to the North Western 
Frontier with Gen. Stark? I have thought such was the 
fact — but it was not so. 

The General Court at a session of three days, com- 
mencing July IT, 1777, divided the mihtia of the State into 
two Brigades, and appointed Gen. Whipple to the command 
of the first, and Gen. Stark to the command of the second. 
The same day one quarter of Gen. Stark's Brigade and one 
quarter of Colonels Thornton's, Webster's and Badger's 
Regiment in Gen. Whipple's Brigade, were ordered to be 
drafted and sent to meet the enemy on the North Western 
Frontier. Gen. Stark w*as put in command of these forces. 
On the 19th they adjourned. There was none of Whipple's 
Brigade ordered out except the quarter of the three Regi^ 
ments under Thornton, Webster and Badger. These troops 
gained (with the assistance of others from Massachusetts 
and Vermont joined) the battle of Bennington. Now I 
presume that Whipple and his troops were ordered out by the 
'• Committee of Safety " in the recess of the Legislature 
and before its adjourned meeting on the 17th of Sep-- 
tember — at which time they resolved not to send any 
General Officer Avitli their troops for the defence of the 
" North Western Frontier." This of course deprived Gen« 
Whipple of any command there — whether sent by the 
" Committee of Safety," or a volunteer. 

The reason of this vote was, that Congress had taken 
umbrage at their sending Stark with an independent com- 
mand, and had lectured New Hampshire by a sharp Resolu-- 
tion, — and after a committee had been appointed to address 
Congress upon the subject, this Resolution— -of not sending 
any " General Officers with these troops "— AVas adopted. 

Page 222.— Capt. Thomas Pickering fell in an engage- 
ment with a British " East Indiaman " of 32 guns, — 24- 
nines and 8 fours. 

Pickerinfr and Hutchin2:s stood on Union Wharf — that 



114: RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

formerly belonged to Sampson B. Lord, Esq. — w hen they 
fired upon the Scarborough's barge. The bullet-hole in 
the east end of the warehouse used to 1)6 pointed out. 

Pickering finally took that barge and impounded it. The 
crew, for fear of being fired upon landed the Barge in the 
slip below Pickering's mill. " Tom " found it, and hitching 
four horses to it hauled it through the various streets, he 
standing in the Barge and assuming the command. After 
they had worn her bottom entirely off, they hauled her to 
the pound and locked her up. Deacon Drown's wife (bis 
sister) stood in the door, and as " Tom " rode past in the 
Barge, cried out, " Tom, you'll be hanged, for you're re- 
belling against your King and Country." I will add two 
other affairs of some importance in which Capt Pickering 
was the principal actor. 

Sometime in the night of October 1, 1775, the British 
ship " Prince George" came into the " Lower Harbor" at 
Portsmouth, in a storm. On the next day, Oct. 2, Picker- 
ing, with a picked crew in a boat — boarded and took the 
ship, and brought her up to town. This prize was \qvj 
opportune — as the town of Portsmouth and Washington's 
army at Cambridge were out of flour ^ and the Prince George 
had on board 1894 barrels of that necessary article. ' She 
was bound from Bristol to Boston. About 50 barrels were 
kept in Portsmouth, and the rest was sent to the army at 
Cambridge, by Washington's request. His letter and that 
of the " Committee of Safety," are on file in the State 
Secretary's office- — from which I gather the main facts. 

Another. There was a Privateer called the Warren and 
commanded by Capt. Burke. This was taken by the Bi-it- 
ish Frig:ii'j Milford and turned into a tender for that Frigate. 
This bCnu.r of about 80 tons, commanded by Capt. Willis, 
and with a crew of 50 men all told, besides the Captain, 
was a source of great annoyance along our coast, from 
'Quoddy to Cape Cod — and in November and December of 



TOM PICKEEIXG — THE FRENCH FLEET. 115 

1777 took eight prizes. On Friday, Dec. 20, of that year, 
she took a wood Sloop commanded by Richard Pinkham. 
Saturday, December 21, the valuables, were taken from the 
sloop and the vessel set on fire. The 25th, tliere came up 
a storm when near York Ledges, and Capt. Willis being- 
drunk, the under ofiicers and crew gave the command of 
the schooner to Pinkham — and he pretending tliat he was 
going into Boston Harbor, put her into '•' Little Harbor" at 
Portsmouth and ran her ashore. The next day " Tom Pick- 
ering" boarded her with a picked crew and took vessel, 
officers, men and provision up to town. She had the ^Y\\- 
ford stores on board and Was a valuable prize. Capt. Willis 
and the officers of the George Avere billetted on Jonathan 
Eastman and Philbrick Bradle}', Esqs. in Concord. Their 
prisoners were exchanged and the names of the prisoners 
and their rank are upon the Cartel receipt now on file in 
the Secretary's office. Capt. Willis in his receipt modesthj 
speaks of his vessel as being ivrechfd near Portsmouth. 
This was 'permitted to save him a lady love, as he Avas en- 
gaged to a daughter of Admiral Howe. Willis however 
concluded that this fiction would not keep his conduct a 
secret, and committed suicide by jumping overboard in 
Long Island Sound, rather than meet his Admiral and 
intended father-in-latv ! 

Page 243.— You quote from N. H. Gazette of Nov. 18. 
Either you or I have copied erroneously. My extract is 
noted thus, ''tinder date of Aug. 1782, the N. H. Gazette 
has the following item of news. * Thursday last arrived 
in this port an 80 and two 74 gun ships, with a frigate of 
32 guns, being part of a fleet of our magnanimouf} Allies, 
the Pi-ench, lately arrived on this coast from the West 
Indies.' " The ship struck with lightning Nov. 5, 1782, 
was the 80 gun ship 'L Auguste. 

Page 244. — It may have been soldiers who rolled them- 
selves in the chest, for I find from an old advertisement 



116 RAMBLES ABOUT t^ORTSMOUTH. 

noted in my note-book, signed by Joshua Wentworth, of 
date Sept. 2, 1782, in which deserters are meutioned from 
the French Fleet, that " five soldiers of the regiment of 
Venois, their clothing ivhite cuffed with blue" are particu- 
larized. 

Page 359. — T^he house moved by me was not a dwelling 

house — it was a pleasure house. It had a Dining Hall 

below, and a Dining Hall above, with a Drawing Room to 

each, and attached to the old house by a narrow covered 

walk. 

Page 390.— Woodbury Langdon was taken prisoner by 
the British and was liberated by exchange. When Judge, 
it seems he did'nt a?iya^« appear to hold courts. Complaint 
Was made and the House of Representatives voted and 
attempted to impeach him. The Senate met on a day ap- 
pointed, but Langdon paid no more attention to the order 
of the Senate, than to the Statute appointing the time of 
holding the courts. The Senate adjourned to the follow- 
ing June, voting an order for Langdon to appear, but he 
paid no attention to them, and when the Senate met, he 
did not appear ! Still the Senate took no further notice of 
the matter, and the House dropped the charges. It is prob- 
able that the Lobby or " Third House" saved him harmless- 

I have thus suggested some corrections and a few addi- 
tions to your *' Rambles." I need not add that I have read 
it through with the greatest pleasure, and I hope for my 
pleasure and that of the public, as well as for the advant- 
age of our local and general history, you will continue your 
Rambles and give us another volume. 

By the "way, Dr. Peabody, upon the authority of Mr. 
Greenleaf, has Charles Watrous* (I think, — I have not a 

*The name of the individual was diaries Waters. He was a foreigner, an insehioUf 
black and white smith Many anecdotes are told of him— we have room but for one. A 
smith was needed on board of a public vessel, and several appeared at the place appointed 
for examination. After two or three had been interrogated, who professed to be perfect in 
their art, the turn of Waters arrived. •' Well, sir." said the captain, '■ what can you do?" 
'• I dou't Itnow any thing." was Waters reply. '• How so ? " '• Wliy, th(!ge m- n know every 
thini in the world, and there is nothing left for me— but just take us to the forge." With 
the display of skill fur abjro the rust, he at once secured the position. 



OLD-SCHOQL GEXTLEMEX. 117 

capy at hand) — ^^sliould it not be "Waterliouse? I tliiiik so, 
and I have always heard the old people speak; of ' Charley 
"Water'ouse's coppers,' — the word was clipped '' a la cock- 
otey^' to Water'ous. Portsmouth people, as •well as their 
forefathers, having a great dish'ke to the letter h. '' Down 
in the tu'ite 'ous.e near the yfarf was a direction I once 
heard a Portsmouth lady give a servant, and I give it in 
illustration of the above. 

Yours respe.ctfully, C. R Potter. 



RAMBLE CI. 

Things of 1>00 to ISOO-Old Scho-ixl G-entlemen — 
IFtespect lay Youth — jNIinor OiTences — Frompt Pian- 
ishinent of Oi-iminal.s — .Justice I?e2p.hallow's Iinpar- 
tiality — F^rst 3?aveinent — liuclc Street Promeiiacle— i 
IN"orth. and Soutlienders — Smoking not -AJlowed — 
Edward !K|art elected Folice Officer — His Success, 
and "wliat ixroduced it. 

Ix the last ten years of the last centiiry, the inhabitants 
of the quiet, good old town of " Portsmouth upon the 
Piscataqua" had not entirely outlived the salutary influence, 
of the aristocracy of the colonists of eairlier times, when 
scarlet colored broadcloth cloaks, worn by our Warners 
Jaffreys, Cutis, and other genUemen of the old school of 
politeness, good order and d©.corum, warned the boys of 
the severe reprehension, if not of rods, which awaited them 
for any neglect of respectful recognition of the approach 
and presence of those august personages, by the loiv hoiv, 
or doffed hat, or by both, especially on Sabbath days, when 
tithingmen took due care that none were seen loitering 
about the streets while the bells were tolling the good, 
people to meeting. 

Nevertheless, it came to pass, in the course of time,. 



118 EAMBI^ES ABOUT PORTSItfOUTH. 

through the remissness of the iithingmen and other conser- 
vatives of rellcjion and morals, that the good order of the 
town had so greatly deteriorated as to alarm the order- 
loving portion of its inhabitants, lest a worst condition of 
njorals should ensue. Though the evils of Avhich they 
complained were not in amount, a tithe of the abuses 
for which the good citizens of Portsmouth now have just 
cause of complaint, they required the most efficient and 
prompt measures to abate. 

Then, crimes such as are now characterized as rowdyism^ 
were unknown by the inhabitants of Portsmouth. If minor 
oifences against personal rights were committed, which did 
not, in the estimation of a discerning public, require legal 
measures to be resorted to, either to punish the offenders 
or to serve as preventives of a repetition of them, the 
disapprobation of the good people of the town was a suffi- 
cient rebuke and corrective. In thos e days the offend,ers 
kad no apologists. 

Offences of graver consequence to the public, which 
were within the final jurisdiction of justices of the peace, 
and which subjected the offenders to corporeal punishment, 
were sure to meet with prompt attention by our vigilant 
officers of the law. Instance the case of a hostler employ^ 
ed in one of the stage stables, who in the night next 
preceding his detection, stole a water bucket full of West 
India rum from the cellar of his employer. He was arrested 
the next morning, upon a warrant issued by Justice Pen- 
hallow — arraigned— tried — found guilty, and sentenced 
by him, to suffer the infliction of ten lashes upon his bare 
back, which in about thirty minutes thereafter were faith- 
fully applied at the town pump, in the presence of many 
witnesses ; and before the town clock struck the hour of 
eleven, the convict was again at w.ork in the stable of his 
employer ! Such was then the majesty of the law, and the 
promptness of its execution. 



THE IMPARTIAL JUSTICE. 119 

Justice Penhallow was a " slrict constructionist,^' and 
fully agreed with Chief Justice Jay of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, that in conformity with the provisions 
of the Constitution, Justice should be administered ^^faith- 
fully, impartially and loithout delay.'" 

As an instance of his impartiality in the administration 
of justice, we notice a case brought before him, of a com- 
plaint for assault and battery. The complainant, who was a 
kinsman of Governor John Wentworth, set forth in his 
complaint, that he, " being in the peace of God and the 
State," and quietly passing up Pleasant street, was then 
and there assaulted, beaten, bruised and wounded by two 
persons. [The names of the parties we will not mention, 
One of them was a tall limb of the law who had gained 
some celebrity professionally in our courts of justice, and 
subsequently attained a high distinction as an eminent 
jurist and counsellor-at-law in a neighboring State ; the 
other was a person nearly related to one of our most opu- 
lent merchants, and afterwards succeeded to an honorable 
and lucrative office in Great Britain under the crown.] 
Upon complaint being made, Justice Penhallow issued his 
warrant for their arrest and arraignment before him, to 
answer to said complaint, and they soon after being brought 
before him, he found both of them guilty, and sentenced 
each of them to pay a fine for the use of the County of 
Rockingham, and to stand committed, (that is, to be locked 
■up in jail,) until said sentence should be performed. The 
fines were paid, forthwith. 

" Thus jails, thsse iron agents of the law, 
Keep many a graceless wretch in awe." 

Our venerable Justice recognized only two distinctions 
of character, of those living under and entitled to the pro- 
tection of the laws of the State ; namely, obedience to, and 
disobedience of those laws. Neither the possession of 
wealth, or any adventitious condition of life of the accused, 



120 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

ever influenced '' the old Deacon," (for he Avas one of the 
deacons of the North Church) so as to allow the respondents 
to escape the penalty of the law, if upon a fair and impartial 
trial before him, he found them guilty. 

In those days of which we write, the subject of laying 
side pavements began to be agitated ; for until then, there 
were none in town except very narrow ones m Paved street , 
so called, now Market street, which at that period was only 
about one half of its present width. Said side pavement 
being a mere apology for the absence of more commodious 
accommodations for the ladies who resorted to the ''Piece 
Good Stores " there located. And although the necessity 
of these were admitted by all our good ancestors, they 
could not or woidd not agree upon a location for the com- 
mencement of them. 

The belligerent boys also had something to do about 
this matter. Strong prejudices were there operating le 
tween the " Southenders " and '• Northenders," and the 
belligerents had made Buck street^ now called State street, 
the line of demarkation between the respective parties. 
They had also made Buck street, by common consent, Tieu- 
iral ground, upon which declaration of war was made and 
parleys held. 

Had not this practice and ill-feeling of the boys against 
each other been the result of the influences originating in 
older heads, if not in implacable hearts, the interests of the 
public would have been better promoted. But the antipa- 
thies engendered by the revoiution between the Whigs and 
Tories not having fully subsided, operated injuriously in 
town aftairs, and had prevented many improvements which 
otherwise the inhabitants would have enjoyed. So it was. 
in respect to the laying of sidewalks. They could not 
agree upon the location of the commencement of them. 

At length, hoAvever, at an annual town meeting, one of 
our wise,, far-seeing and worthy townsmen, seiziag upon 



BUCK STREET PEOMEXADE. 121 

the neutral ground influence which the boje had created, 
•without their fathers discovering the use he was about to 
make of it, moved, " that the Northwest side of Buck 
street be paved with Durham flat stones for a side walk/"' 
The motion prevailed, and this event constitutes the epoch 
of the commencement of side-pavements in Portsmouth, 
and the memory of the '' old Torif is now blessed. Such 
was the effect of prejudice, and the result of wisdom and 
fore-sight. 

As soon as this convenient promenade of Buck street 
was completed, those of our fair inhabitants whose domes- 
tic relation confined them much of the time to their homes, 
when the weather was suitable for the purpose, were seen 
promenading this flat stone side pavement, enjoying the 
pure, invigorating, health promoting and life prolonging 
atmosphere. It was indeed a luxury, as well to those en- 
joying good health, as to the feeble and the convalescent. 
xVt that period of our history the smoking of tobacco, 
• either in pipes or in the form of cigars, in the streets, was 
deemed a nuisance and made by law a penal oflence. 
Ladies could then enjoy the rich blessing of the invigor- 
ating, uncontaminated atmosphere without being obliged, as 
now, at almost every step to encounter and even to contend 
with the odious, filthy^ sickening fumes of tobacco pipes and 
cigars, and the contaminating odors of breath issuing from 
the reservoirs of lungs made still worse by poisoned 
alcoholic liquors imbibed by the smokers. 

But we return to our subject of reform, which our good 
fathers liad determined to effect. It had become a matter 
of universal observation and discussion, in the streets, in 
our work-shops, in our parlors, in our kitchens, in some of 
our public assemblages ; and when the inhabitants as- 
sembled in town meeting to decide upon the adoption or 
rejection of by-laws which had been made to meet the 
emergency of the times, the question was proposed by the 

9 



122 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Moderator, (the Hon. Jonatlian TVarner^) upon the accept- 
ance and adoption of them, " Who sliall execute these 
laws ?" When profound silence had for sometime pervaded 
the meO'ting, the Moderator spoke again, and said, " Who 
will you trust with this important business ? Who "will 
faithfully carry your object into effect?" Silence again for 
a short time prevailed, when it was broken by a simulta- 
neous announcement from different parts of the meeting, 
of the name of Edward Hart ! Edward Hart ! ! and thus 
nominated he was thereupon unanimouslj^ elected Police 
Officer for the then current year. Some sketches are given 
of him in Ramble 99. 

The power which that officer then possessed was simi- 
lar to those Avith which our City Marshal is now clothed, 
and his duties were analogous. A call was then made for 
Mr. Hart, but he was not present. A constable v/as 
sent to announce to him his election, and to request his 
attendance. In a few minutes he presented himself, and 
addressing the Moderator said, " Mr. Moderator : I have- 
been informed by your messenger, that the town has unan- 
imously elected me Police Officer for the current year. 
The duties of the office are of the highest importance and 
responsibility, and it will require much labor and perse- 
vering effort to perform its duties to your satisfaction. 
No one, ten or twentij men can succeed acceptably, if at all, 
without the cordial co-operation of his good feeling towns- 
men : but with such aid, much may be effected even by 
one man. I will accept the office to which tlie town has 
elected me, and perform its duties according to the 
best of my abilities, upon one condition. That condition 
is, that in discharging my duties all my good fellow towns- 
men will LIFT THE HELPING HAND ! " And rising on " tip- 
toe,^'' suiting the action to the word, extended his right 
hand as high as he could reach. In an instant, as if by the 
power of magic, all hands present were tqj-Ji/tcd; which 



EDWARD HART ELECTED POLICE OFFICER. 123 

• 

being observed by him as he took a cursory glance around 
the room^o see what was passing, he turned to the mode- 
rator and thus addressed him: " Mr. Moderator, with this 
assurance of the co-operation of my fellow-townsmen so 
unanimously expressed, I accept of the ofSce, and am 
ready to be qualified." Which being done, he left the 
meeting amid the approving cheers of all present, and 
immediately commenced active duties, in the performance of 
which he made himself 2^oiver/ulhj effective, and ere twent}'-- 
four hours had elapsed, every school-boy in town ; as also 
every offender against good order, was fully apprised of 
the appointment of the energetic oiEcer with whom they 
liad to deal. Public confidence in the ability and faithful- 
ness of their Police Officer was every where apparent ; a 
generous and ready aid always offered him when needed. 
Most of the evils which had been so obnoxious to the peo- 
ple of the town were soon abated, and Mr. Hart was very 
highly respected and regarded as one " sent for the pun- 
ishment of evil doers and for the praise of them that do 
well." 

The relator of this sketch was present at the election of 
Mr. Hart, and details as far as his memory enables him, his 
remarks upon his acceptance of the ofiice in nearly the 
same words used by him on that occasion. 



< » » » > 



RAMBLE CII. 

The Hart P'amily - Quint and the ^^Volf. 

In Ramble 99 we say that Col. John Hart, the father of 
Edward, died at Louisburg of small pox in 1758. So we 
were informed, and stated in Ramble 79, but we have now 



124 PAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

♦ 

conclusive evidence that the foct is otherwise. Col. Mc: 
serve, a neighbor of Hart, died at Lonisburg^that year, 
and the names were probably thus confounded. 

In 1758, Col. John Hart took cominand of a New Hamp-: 
shire regiment of several hundred men, and marched with 
them to Lake George to join Gen. Abercrombie. His 
forces were joined by those of Col. Goft"; and under comr 
mand of the latter they were ordered down the shores of 
Lake Champlain to cut off a body of French and Indians, 
who had been in what is now the State of New York, and 
had done some mischief there. But Col. GofF, regarding 
discretion the better part of valor, thought best to keep 
clear of bullets, and so landed on an island in Lake Cham^ 
plain, drew his men up in a hollow square, went to prayer, 
and prayed that there might be a long and moderate war 
and no bloodshed. The religious services were extended 
to so great a length that the enemy had time to and did 
pass by, — so his prayer was answered in part, as there was 
no bloodshed. Although Ave have no knowledge that this 
fact has ever before appeared in print, yet " a long and 
moderate war and no bloodshed" was a by-word brought 
home by the New Hampshire militia men of the French 
war, which was in common use here during the Revolu- 
tion, and is yet familiar in the ears of our old men. 

Among the soldiers in this expedition Avas Joseph Quint, 
Avho afterwards, we think, lived in NcAvington, He was 
sent out on a skirmish in the neighborhood of Fort William 
Henry, and night coming on he found himself alone in the 
woods, without sufficient light to find his Avay out. He 
gathered a quantity of leaves for his bed, and laying him^ 
self down was soon asleep. Awaking in the night, he saw 
but a very few yards from. him a large wolf, with glaring 
eyes directed towards him ! He had his gun by his side, 
and while thinking what to do, he saw, or imagined he 
saw, hundreds of wolves' eyes glaring upon him in every 



COURT SCEXE IN PORTSMOUTH. 125 

direction ! To discharge his gun would be regarded as a 
signal of alarm to the fort — so rising slowly, he took off his 
hatj brandished it round and then threw it at the wolf ! 
This frightened him off — and the moon being now up, he 
was able to trace his v/ay back to the fort, which was done 
without delay, and the adventure made a family story. 

Col. John Hart's son Henry (not Eichard, as we stated) 
settled in Xewington, on the farm now belonging to Rich- 
a;:d Pickering, Esq. He had a blacksmith's shop standing 
between the house and the road. He had a high rej^uta- 
tion as a horse-shoer, and many sent their horses from 
Portsmouth to him to be shod. He had a son, Richard D. 
Hart. After he had passed middle-life, Henry removed to 
Wells and there died. 

When Edward Hart built the Pickering house in Yauglian 
street, about eighty years ago, the thatch where the house 
stands was as high as a man's head. One of our old citi- 
zens tells us that he has seen the tide from the North 
mill-pond flowing near the spot where the house stands. 

We will closo this Eamble by a court scene in Ports- 
mouth ninety -uight years ago, which contrasts with the 
republican simplicity of the present day. 

In 1771 the province of New Hampshire was divided 
into counties, and on the 3d of March in the next year the 
first sitting of Superior Court in Rockingham county awvs 
held in Portsmouth. On that occasion, when the court 
bell rang, a procession moved in royal dignity to the Court 
House on Market Square, in which the honorable Judges 
might be seen in their full bottomed wigs and official robeSj 
and all the members of the bar following in order with 
their white bands hanging conspicuously beneath their 
chins. Whether the Rev. Dr. Langdon, who was tlio 
chaplain for the occasion, led or followed in the procession, 
the record does not show. 



126 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

EAMBLE cm. 

Tlie Slieafe Fainily. 

The late James Sheafe resided on State street, where is 
now the house of J. M. Tredick, Esq., and his ownership 
extended over the entire square south of the City build- 
ing. The premises are not yet alienated from the family. 
Here too was the residence of his father, Jacob Sheafe, 
who was born at Newcastle. As this family held a prom- 
inent place in Portsmouth for a century and a half, we 
think our readers will feel some interest in a sketch of its 
history. 

Samuel Sheafe was of Cranebrook, England, as appears on 
the records of the Herald Office, London. On an ancient 
monument within the diocese of Norwich, Norfolk, Eng-= 
land, is given the following inscription: 

Here are biiryed under this ston 
Thomas Sheffand his wvft' Marion ; 
Someiym we Wiiir, as ye now be, 
And as we arr, so be scliall yee ; 
■Wtierofore of your charitie, 
Pray lor us lo itie Triniiie, 
" '• Obiit (Marion) MCCC IxxxXili. 

At this time, 1393, Richard 2d was King of England. 
Thomas Sheff as he was to be prayed for after his death, 
must have been of the Roman Catholic religion, as all 
En^ish people were at that time. Afterwards, in the reign 
probably of Queen Mary, from some ancient records is ex, 
tracted the following : 

" Out of this town and places adjoining, good people in 
neighborhood met on week day, to pray melancholy provi- 
dence to be sanctified to them ; prosecuted by a neighbor- 
ing Justice, and by him are fined, and for non-payment sent 
to Maidstone Jail for three months. Among the rest was 
one Harmon Sheaf, a man very kind to his parish minister, 
and who usually attended upon public worship in the way 
of tlie Church of England. He was iuiprisoned for non- 
conformity." — [Cranebrook, Wm. Goodrich's A^o^es, 1, 10.] 



THE SHEAF'E FAMILY. 127 

Edmund Slieafe was born in 1605, and Was married to 
Elizabeth Cotton, daughter of Sampson Cotton of Lon- 
don. His children were, Rebecca, Elizabeth and Samp- 
son Sheafe. Sampson was born in 1G50, soon after his 
father's decease. 

Jacob Sheafe was also from Cranebrook, born in IGIG, 
and married to Margaret Webb, born 1G25, died 1G93, aged 
68. She was the only daitghter of Henry Webb of London, 
who came over to this country with his father, of Salisbury, 
England. 

Two of the children perished in their house near the 
Court House in Boston, which was burnt in 1655. It is 
believed that Jacob Sheafe came over with Rev. Henry 
Whitefield, and in 1613 was one of the seven pillars in the 
Church of Guilford, Connecticut, so denominated or styled, 
to which was gathered the body of the Church. Whitefield 
was a member of the Churcii of England, but afterwards a 
conformist to the manner of worship of the church in New 
England. He left Guilford with Mr. Higginson, who came 
to Salem, and in 1G50 returned to England. Mr. Eaton, one 
of the pillars, remained in Guilford, or Kew Haven; and 
prior to 1G17, Jacob Sheafe came to Boston and there died 
in 1G58, aged 12, and was buried in a tomb in the King's 
Chapel burying ground. This was the first tomb made 
there. He owned considerable landed estate, and oGl 
ounces of plate. Some of the plate was a few years since 
in the family of Mr. Henry Haven, a descendant of Jacob 
Sheafe. The widow of Jacob Sheafe married Rev. Mr. 
Thacher, and died 1693, aged 65. She was buried in the 
same tomb. Robert Gibbs, her son-in-law, was also buried 
there. 

In the first ciiurch, Boston, Margaret wife of Jacob 
Sheafo. merchant, was admitted a member 15Lh of the lliird 
month, lGl"i. Jacob Sheafe was also admitted Itli of 2(1 
mouth, 1658. 



128 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Inscription on tlie stone over the family tomb in the 
burial ground, King's Chapel : 

"Here lyeth inter'd IhePndynf Jacob Phoafe of BdSton, aptl for some time lived at 
Cranelnook, iu Kent, Ould England. He deceaeed 22d March, 1658, aged 42 years. 

EolJeil Gibbs." 

'• Here lyeth inter'd the body of Mrs. Marjraret Thacher formerly wife of Jacob Sheafe and 
late wife of the Rev. Thomas Thacher, relates GS. Obiit 29, Feb. 1693 " 

" Here lies inter'd the Body of Jacob Sheafe, *ho departed this life 26 of Dec, 1760, aged 
79 yeais." 

Mehitable Sheafe's grave stone, near the tomb is now 
destroyed. 

Jacob Sheafe left t^vo children ; Elizabeth,, born 1644, 
married Robert Gibbs, the father of Henry Gibbs of Water- 
town. Mehitable, borJi 1G5G, married Sampson Sheafe^ the 
son of Edmund Sheafe, in year 1Q7^. 

Sampson Sheafe resided in Boston, and was a respectable 
merchant. In 1G75, he came to Newcastle, IS". IL, and did 
business there in the mercantile line, and was at the same 
time Collector of the Customs. In 1G77, he (then living in 
Boston) contracted with George Jaffrey to proceed to 
Great Island and take charge solely of his goods, hotising^ 
wharves and land and to do no other business, in consider- 
ation of 40 pounds lawful money of New England, for two 
years ; and to be found and allowed good and sufficient 
meat and drink, washing and lodging. 

In 1098, Sampson Sheafe probably returned to New 
Hampshire, beisg at that time appointed, under Gov. Allen, 
one of His Majesty's Council and Secretary of the Prov^ 
ince. In 1711, he was appointed, by Gov. Dudley of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, Commissary of the New England forces on 
an expedition against Quebec, which failed, owing princi- 
pally to the disaster of the fleet lander Admiral Walker. 
The first intelligence of thi.:, says Hutchinson (in ]:ib history 
of ItLissachusetts,) was by a letter of the 11th of Oct. re- 
ceived from the Commissary, Sampson Sheafe. He was at 
one time Collector of the Port of Piscataqua, wliere he madcr 
several seizures of ve&sels^ as appeared by Superior Court 



THE SHEAFE FAMILY. 129 

records. lie remained in New Hampshire several years, 
Avinding up his mercantile concerns, and then returned to 
Boston, where he died, aged 76. He had two children only, 
Jacob, born 1G77, and Sampson 1681. 

While a resident in Boston^, Jacob Sheafe lived or had 
property in Salem street, then called Sheafe street, where 
he owned two parcels of pasture land which he sold to his 
brother-in-law, Robert Gibbs. His heirs owned land near 
the ferry. His property in Newcastle he gave to his son 
Sampson Sheafe. Jacob Sheafe the eldest son of Sampson, 
born in Boston where he always lived, was married to 
Mary. He had four children, Abigail, Mary, Elizabeth and 
Margaret. Mary born 1718, Avas married to Sampson 
Sheafe at Boston. The residence of Jacob Sheafe was 
near Frog street, now Tremont street. 

Sampson Sheafe of Newcastle, second son of Simpson 
of Boston, Avas born 1681, educated at Harvard College- 
where he graduated 1702. His business was in the mer, 
cantile line, in the fishery and West India trade. No- 
vember 27th, 1711, he was married by the Rev. Mr. Emer- 
son to Sarah Walton, the daughter of Col. Theodore Walton 
of Newcastle. 

In 1740 he was appointed one of the King's Council, 
Belcher being at that time Governor, and continued a man- 
damus councillor as they were then styled, during the 
administration of Gov. Benning Wentworth, to the year 
1761, when he resigned his seat at the board at the age of 
80. He died 1772, aged 91, leaving 8 children, — Sampson, 
born 1712; Jacob, 1715 ; Henry, Matthew, Samuel, Sarah, 
Mehitable and Elizabeth. 

Jacob Sheafe Avas born at Newcastle, Oct. 21, 1715, 
Avhere he resided for 27 years. In 1710 he married Han- 
nah Seavey, Avhose home AA'as on the beautiful spot Avhere 
the house of Mr. Eben L. Seav'ey now stands, at the head 
of Seavey's Creek, on the road leading from Sagamore 



130 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Creek to Wallis's Sands* She was here born May 4, 1719. 
The name of Hannah's father Ave do not know — slio had a 
brother Paul, the father of hite Major Mark Seavey, who 
lived for many years at 65 Congress street. " Sampson's 
Point," at Little Harbor, was but a short distance from 
Newcastle, and Mr. Sheafe sometimes came to Portsmouth 
that way. On one occasion in a shower he took refuge in 
the farm house of Mr. Seavey, where for the first time he 
saw Hannah. He liked Hannah so well that he felt inclined 
to visit there in pleasant weather also, and finally she be- 
came Mrs. Sheafe. 

in 1742 he purchased the house and lot of land next west 
of the brick school house in State street, on which Mr. 
George M. Marshes house and the Episcopal chapel now 
stand. It had probably been the residence of Rev. John 
Emerson, who died in 1732, as Mr. Sheafe purchased it of 
his widow, for Xo50. How many years he resided here 
we have no record, but probably his house on the opposite 
side of the street was not built until twenty or thirty years 
after. He died in 1791, at the age of 76. His wife died 
in 1773, at the age of 54. Their children were — 

Matthew, born Aug. 13, 1741, a shipmaster, was lost 
at sea. 

Abigail, born April 26, 1744, m. Judge John Pickering. 
She died Dec. 10, 1805, aged 62. 

Jacob, born Sept. 6, 1745, merchant. Died Jan. 25, 1829, 
aged 84. 

"Sarah, born Aug. 1, 1748, died June 8, 1839, a. 91. She 
married John Marsh, who died in 1777. She was the mother 
of Matthew S. Marsh, and g. m. of George M. Marsh. 

Hannah, born April 26, 1750, m. Hugh Henderson; after- 
wards Mr. Hart. Died Sept. 1, 1845, a. 95. 

Thomas, born April 16, 1752, merchant. He died Sept. 
4, 1831, aged 80. 

•" The notp at tlio foot or pntre 105 has reference to this paragraph: which is here cr- 
reott'd acoordins'y. the Kaniblu referreJ to not having been dibcovereJ by the compiler 
until the note had passed through the press. 



THE SHEAFE FAMILY. 131 

Maiy, born Nov. 22, 1753, m. Pres. Joseph Willarcl, Har. 
College, Cambridge. Died March 6, 1826, aged 72. 

James, born Nov. 16, 1755, merchant. Died Dec, 5, 
1829, aged 74. 

William, born Sept. 11, 1758, merchant. Died March, 
1839, aged 81. 

Mehitable, born April 12, 1760, m. Eben. Smith, Durham. 
Died Sept. 4, 1843, aged 83. 

John, born July 13, 1762, and died Jan. 24, 1812, 
aged 50. 

The average age of nine of the eleven children was over 
81 years. A truly remarkable case. 

Mr. Sheafe was appointed by Co v. B. Wentworth Com- 
missary to the N. H. forces at Louisl)urg, in 1745, soon 
after his removal from Newcastle to Portsmouth. Being 
bred a merchant, he pursued the mercantile business ex- 
tensively, with shrewdness, reputation and success, until 
his death. His principal place of businnss was at the 
warehouses on Point of Graves, which of later years have, 
with the wharves around, sunk into decay. He was elected 
a Representative of the town for ^767 to 1774, when the 
provincial government expired. 

He was quick in disceruraent, and s hrewd in the manage- 
ment of his business. Many illustrativ^e anecdotes are 
given of him. One day, after selling a customer a few 
pounds of wool and putting it into the bag, he went into 
his counting room, and looking into a glass which reflected 
the counter, he saw the man slip in a small skim cheese. 
Mr. S. on returning said, he thought he had by mistake put 
in more wool than was ordered, and would just place the 
bag in the scale again. The man objected, us he said the 
weight was all right — but Mr. S. threw it in, and finding it 
some eight pounds^ heavier, ofiered to take back a part of 
the contents. The customer however concluded that he 
would take the whole, and so to save exposure paid between 
two and three dollars for a cheese wliich might have l)een 
bought for twenty-five cents. 



132 RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

On another occasion, after missing a barrel of pork some 
months, a man said to him one day, Mr. Sheafe, did you 
ever find out who stole that pork? yes, said Mr. S. 
Indeed, who was it? Nobody but you and I ever knew it 
was stolen : so pay for it at once, if you wish nobody else 
to know about it. The man paid for the pork. 

It is a singular fact, that of the large number of the 
Sheafe family who resided in Portsmouth a few years since, 
there is not now one descendant here that bears the name. 



RAMBLE CIV. 



Jaines Sheafe — Jay's Treaty — The Effigies —The niot — 
The .A.rrest — The Triumphal IProcessioia, «fcc. 

There are many reminiscences in the history of Hon. 
James Sheafe which "hav^ a local relation, and while stand- 
ing before his premises we v/ill bring up one or two of 
them, lie was a loyalist during the Revolution, — but did 
not, like many others, leave his home. With his brother- 
in-law, Hugh Henderson, he was summoned before the 
Committee of Safety at Exeter, and Mr. Samuel Drown had 
them under charge. While Mr. Sheafe rode his horse un- 
molested, the excited populace followed Mr, Henderson on 
foot, and compelled him to walk as far as Greenland Parade, 
pelting him with stones whenever he attempted to mount. 
They gave their bonds to the Committee that they would 
do nothing to impede the progress of the Revolution, and 
were dismissed. 

After the TL;5Volution, although ^'.fr. Sheafe was a very 
popular man with his friends, and was captain of a company 
of cavalry, yet occasionally he was subject to rough abuse 
from political opponents. One of the strongest demonstra- 



jay's treaty. 133 

tions of tin's sort was made by a mob attack upon his liouse 
ill 1795, which, curious as it might be, resulted in summon- 
ing the same Mr. Drown to Exeter, although innocent of 
the offence charged. 

It was in July, 1795, that the memorable ''Jay's Treaty" 
was promulgated before final action was taken upon it by the 
Senate. Its appearance created great excitement through- 
out the country. The article which forbade the trading of 
American vessels of over 70 tons Avitli any of the Eiitish 
colonial ports or islands, was far from being acceptuble ; 
and it was said that while the treaty conferred many im- 
portant privileges on Great Britain, it secured no advan- 
tages but what might be claimed under the existing treaty 
of 1783. A public meeting was called by posters at the 
corners. To show the deep feeling we give the handbill. 

" THE CRISIS \—To ihe citizens of Portsmouth. 
This (citizens of every description) is the crisis of your 
fate. To-morrow you are warned to assemble at the State 
House, on the most momentous occasion of your lives. 
Your all is at stake. The Senate have bargained away 
your blood-bought privileges, for less than a mess of pot- 
tage. That perfidious, corrupting and corrupted nation 
whom you, vanquished with your sword, are now endeavor- 
ing to vanquish you, with their usual, but alas, too success- 
ful weapon, British gold ! Your only remaining hope is in 
the President I Assemble then to a man ! Shut up your 
shops and warehouses, let all business cease : R-'pair 
to the State House, remonstrate with coolness, but spirit, 
against his signing a treaty, which will be the death Avar- 
rant of your trade, and entail beggary on us, and our pos- 
terity forever. If you regard yourselves, your children, 
and above all the hOnor of your country, assemble at the 
sound of the bells. Portsmouth, July 15, 1795.'' 

This meeting, after voting that it was inconsistent vvitli 
the interest and honor of the United States to adopt the 
treaty, agreed to an extended address to President V/ash' 
ington on the subject. They voted thanks to Senator 



134 RAMBLES ABOUT TOETSMOUTH. 

Langdon and liis nine associates for the opposition tliey 
made to the ratification of the treaty, and without any op- 
position being shown, adjourned. 

Nearly two months after, a counter address to the Presi' 
dent was drawn up, approving of the treaty, and comph- 
mentary to Senator Livermore and Mr. Jay. It was pre- 
sented by Mr. Jacob Sheafe for signatures. As soon as this 
proceeding was publicly known, the tow^n generally, and 
south-end in particular, was in commotion. On the morn- 
ing of the 10th of September, 1795, bills were posted at 
the corners, stating that the signers of the second address 
to the President, and the gentleman who had circulated it, 
had highly displeased the people, as the avowed design was 
to render the proceedings of the late town meeting con- 
temptible. As Mr. S. (who was called by his opponents 
"Cunning Jacob") received some personal abuse in the 
forenoon of tliat day, disagreeable consequences were ap- 
prehended from the excited state of the public mind. 

The opponents of the treaty, who had just taken the 
name of Eepublicans, held a meeting in the vicinity of 
Liberty Bridge in Water street, and a committee was sent 
to Mr. Sheafe, notifying him immediately to deliver the 
paper containing the address and signatures, or abide the 
consequences. This demand Mr. S. peremptorily refused 
to comply with : but to convince them that those who were 
advocating the measures of government were not acting in 
a clandestine maniler, he offered them acopy of the address 
with every name thereto subscribed. This was received, 
but was by no means satisfactory. 

Now the blood begins to boil, and the tug of war com- 
mences. In the shop of William Deering the carver, on 
Water street, were reposing two profile effigies, cut from 
boards, which had been made in Jul}', wdien the treaty first 
arrived. These were brought out and nailed one on each 
side of a cart, — and a public crier, with bell in hand, was 



THE EFFIGIES. 135 

sent through the town, inviting the inhabitants to attend 
the execution of those two ^'bribed traitors," Jay and Liv- 
ermore, who were to be hung and burnt in tlie evening on 
Warner's wharf. [Now Railway wharf] 

The cart was rigged, but without a driver, when London, 
a bhick of William Stavers, coming by, was placed in the 
cart and compelled to act as driver. A drum and fife soon 
gave the signal for forming, and the procession proceeded 
to the South Bridge, up Pleasant street, gathering in num- 
bers until, three hundred strong, it passed over Market 
Square and down Daniel street, to Warner's wharf — the 
scene of the execution. 

The efiSgies are erected on a pole, and being too high 
for the torch, a boy is held up to apply the flame. It was 
twilight when this mark of contempt was completed. As 
the evening came on, the procession followed the drum and 
fife to various parts of the town, paying particular atten- 
tion to the residences of the thirty-nine individuals who 
signed the second address. Groans and denunciations 
were ^poured out in profusion. The residence of Jacob 
Sheafe received marked attention. That of his brother, 
James Sheafe, was assailed, the windows broken in by mis- 
sels, and Mr. S. compelled to secrete himself from their 
fury. The residence of Dr. Hall Jackson was also assailed, 
and the large stones thrown into the chamber windows 
greatly endangered the lives of the flimily. Whether this 
assault was made by men of Portsmouth or of Pye, we do 
not know; but it is probable that the Doctor was not in 
very good rej)ute with the inhabitants of the latter town 
at the time, as a story we have heard will explain. 

When the news of the treaty arrived, information went 
to Kye that the country was sold ; that Jay had sold Rye 
with it, and British gold would be the cause of its ruin. 
Dr. Hall Jackson was on a visit in Rye at the time, and 
was well convinced that a poorer town could not then be 



136 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

foimcl in the county — as utterly different in wealth and 
prosperity from what it is now as black is from white. 
The Doctor listened to the story of being sold, and ajiswerr 
ed as follows : 

'• If Rye to Great Britain was really snM, 
As we by some great men are seriously told, 

Great liriiain, not Kye, was ill-treated: 
For ir in fulfilling tlie known maxim of irad^", 
Auy gold for suoli a pour purctiase was paid, 

Great Britain was courouudediy cheated." 

This exercise of his ready wit perhaps cost him a few 
panes of glass on this occasion. 

There might have been seen on the Parade on that day, 
sitting in his chaise^ a lawyer of our town, taking down 
the names of those who were in the current of the proces- 
sion. And a day or two after Gen. George B,eed of Lon- 
donderry, the High Sheriff, attending the Court then in 
session at Exeter, visits Portsmouth officially, and summons 
some ten or twelve of the leading men of Portsmouth to 
appear before the Court, on a charge of being engaged in 
a riot and unlawful assemblage, and injuring the property 
of James Sheafe, &g. The names of all these individuals 
we have not been able to obtain, as the Court records do 
not present them ; but among them were the names of 
Deacon Samuel Bowles and Samuel Drown (who passed 
the Parade at the time, but were not connected with the 
mob.) Capt, Thomas Manning, Nathaniel Marshall, Thales 
G. Yeaton, Wm. Trefethen, VVm. Tredick, Charles Chaun- 
cey. Some of them joined ih the afternoon procession, 
but none of them were connected with the evening mob. 

When the Sheriff saw who the men generally were, he 
took their word for their appearance at Exeter on the 
morning of the next day. So, before daylight, they were 
ajl on the way, and ere the Court opened in the morning, 
the culprits presented themselves at the Court House. 
Judge Orcutt was on the bench, Their case was stated 
by Mr. Drown, and readily understood by the Court, who 



THE TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION. 137 

suggested that a nolpros. should be entered, and tliey were 
discharged. 

Their prosecution and summons to Exeter for trial made 
no little excitement, and the news of the speedy discharge 
no little joy. The matter was well known in the neighbor- 
ing towns also, and every vehicle and horse were in requi- 
sition to go out and escort them home. William Boyd, no 
less enthusiastic, requested Mr. Greenleaf, the keeper of 
the Bell Tavern, to have refreshments in every room in his 
house. Just at sunset the carriages made their appearance 
in town. In the first was Thomas Manning, who on this 
occasion was first called Commodore, a title which he 
never after lost among his friends. 

By a concerted arrangement, as soon as the first carriage 
arrived in sight of the Bell Tavern, three cheers went 
down the whole line of the procession. When the first 
coach passing down State street reached Market Square, 
the Commodore put his hat out of the window and gave 
the signal ; another stationed where the new Post Office 
now is, repeated it, and on it went up State street to Mid- 
dle street, and up Middle street to beyond Wibird's Hill — 
the whole cavalcade and procession giving such long three 
cheers as has scarcely been heard in our city since. 

Of the high go at the Bell Tavern that night, it is only 
necessary to say that it was in full accordance with the 
" Spirif of the times — ''West-India." 

The remembrance of that occasion is still held among 
our old inhabitants — but the full record has never before 
been made. 

10 



138 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH; 

RAMBLE CY. 

Insurrection, in New Haixipsliire, I.V&G. 

This incident in our State history, altliougli its actual 
locality was a few miles from Portsmouth, yet from the 
deep interest it excited here at the time, and the terror of 
the mob at the bare idea that " Hackett's Artillery" from 
Portsmouth was marching upon them, is entitled to a place 
among- the Rambles. 

In the beginning of the year 1785, the complaints of the 
unhappy people, who had contracted debts during the time 
of the too great plenty of money, induced tlie Legislature to 
pass an act, making every species of property a tender at an 
appraised value. It was soon however found from experi- 
ence, that this answered no other purpose but to prevent 
a demand on the part of the creditors and a neglect on the 
part of the debtors, to discharge their just debts. The 
scarcity of money still remained a complaint; for so far as 
goods and real property were substituted as a medium in 
commerce, so far specie, of course, ceased to circulate ; 
and credit being thus injured, the money holders turned 
their keys on that cash which might otherwise have been 
loaned to the needy. 

In August a convention of committees from about thirty 
towns assembled, and agreed upon and preferred to the 
General Court a long petition, setting fortli their griev- 
ances on account of the scarcity of money, and praying for 
an emission of paper bills of credit, in which there is no 
single trace of an idea of redemption, or any one attempt 
to give the currency a foundation; but the whole seems 
predicated on a supposition that the General Court by a 
mere act of legislation by luords and signs could impress an 
intrinsic value on paper; which is as fully •absurd as it 



THE INSURRECTION. 139 

would he to suppose that the Legislature had the power of 
Midas, and could, from a single touch, turn stones and 
sticks into gold. Their great object was, however, to have 
this paper a tender for all debts and taxes, and no plan is 
hinted by which the people are to get this money out of 
the treasury ; but it rather seems that they expected the 
General Court to apportion it among the people at large. 

The Legislature formed a plan for the emission of fifty 
thousand pounds, to be let out at four per cent, and land 
security redeemable at a future period, carr^nng interest at 
four per cent., and to be a tender in taxes for the internal 
support of the State^ and for fees and salaries of the offi- 
cers of the government. This plan was sent as early as 
the fourteenth of September, 1786, to the several towns, 
to collect their minds upon the subject. 

The following interesting account of the matter was 
drawn up by Judge .Smith of Exeter not long before his 
death. 

" It was at this period that the clamor for paper currency 
began. Many indulged the kope that a liberal emission of 
bills of credit, and a mere order on the part of Govern- 
ment that the}^ should be received in all cases as equal in- 
value to specie, would operate as an immediate and eftec- 
tual remedy for all their grievances, 

" On the morning of 20th September, Ave were informed 
that a large body of insurgents Avere on their march 1^o 
Exeter, where the Legislature was then in session ; and at 
three in the afternoon they made their appearance. 1 saAV 
them as they passed down the street by the Academy. 
More than a hundred were tolerably Avell armed ; but the 
rest (for they were upwards of two hundred in number) 
were mounted, and their arms consisted only of whips, 
cudgels, and siuch weapons as tradition has assigned to the 
Georgia militia. They pursued their march over the 
bridge, overturning or thrusting aside all Avho ventured 



140 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

■within tlieir reach. In a sliort time tliey returned, and in- 
vested the court house. Judge Livermore, who was then 
upon the bench, and the severity of whose countenance 
was not diminished at sight of the array, would not permit 
the business of the court to be interrupted, or allow any 
one to inspect the besiegers from the windows. In a short 
time, however, finding their mistake, and probably suppos- 
ing it rather a hopeless business to ask redress of griev- 
ances from a court of law, they marched to the meeting 
house, wdiere both houses of Assembly were met in con- 
ference. The meeting house, at that time, stood where 
Rev. Mr. Rowland's was afterwards erected, and the court 
house was just opposite. They here began to load all the 
muskets which had not previously been prepared, and to 
p3int them at the house. After spending some time in this 
parade, they sent in a deputation, to demand that the Legis- 
lature should allow an immediate issue of paper, which 
should be made a tender in all cases for debts and taxes ; 
and laid close siege to all the avenues of the house, intend- 
ing to detain the members until they should see fit to grant 
their request. Some who endeavored to make their es- 
cape Avere driven back with insult. It had been publicly 
known some hours before, that the insurgents were on their 
march, and a large concourse was assembled to watch their 
motions. Some gentlemen attempted to reason with them 
on the folly of their conduct, but without efiect. Presi- 
dent Sullivan soon came to the door. He addressed them 
with perfect coolness; expostulated with them for some 
time ; assured them that their reasonable demands should 
not be neglected ; but that they might at one e abandon the 
idea of forcing the government into submission: that their 
array was not so formidable as to terrify an old soldier. It 
was now evening, and they still adhered resolutely to their 
post. 

" President Sullivan, as I said before, addressed the insur- 



ROUT OT THE INSURGENTS. 141 

gents without effect, and there seemed no mode remaining 
of liberating the Legislature from their imprisonment but 
a resort to force, until a plan was resorted to with good 
success. It was now twilight. The meeting house was 
surrounded by a high fence, which intercepted the view on 
ail sides. A drummer was summoned, who stood at a little 
distance, and beat his drum with as much vigor and effect as 
if a regular army were advancing to the rescue, and a band, 
rendered most formidable in appearance by the indistinctness 
of evening, marched toward the rebel forces. The surround- 
ing crowd at the same time shouted for Government, and 
loudly expressed their apprehensions that the enemy would 
be anniliilated by the vengeance of Hackett's Artillery. 
The insurgents, unable to measure the extent of their dan- 
ger, needed no second invitation to decamp. Their whole 
array was dissolved in a moment. They scampered through 
lanes, streets and fields, and clambered over walls and 
fences with a rapidity which nothing but fear could give 
them, and did not stop until they reached a place at the 
distance of a mile, where they considered themselves safe 
for the moment from the terrific host, whose sudden ap- 
pearance had caused their flight. Here they endeavored to 
rally their broken ranks, and encamped for the night; while 
the Legislature immediately declared them in a state of re- 
bellion, and authorized the President to issue his orders for 
calling in the militia of the neighboring towns. 

'^ A company of volunteers was immediately enrolled un- 
der the command of Hon. Nicholas Gilman, afterwards a 
Senator in Congress from this State. They were ordered 
to meet at the President's quarters earl}' the next morning. 
I went to the place appointed before daybreak ; and the 
first person I met in the streets was President Sullivan, 
mounted, and in full uniform. He told me that he was 
about reconnoitering the enemy, and immediately rode 
away. In a short time the militia began to pour in, and by 



1^2 RAMStES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the lionr of nine, a large body was assembled. Among 
their officers was Gen. Cilley, whose bravery and conduct 
in the revolufionary war is so well remembered. Many 
distinguished citizens also arrived, and attached th6iiiselves 
to the company of volunteers I have just mentioned. 

^' Before ten,- the line was formed, and the troops com- 
menced their mttrch, com'manded by the President in per- 
son. The enemy's line was formed on an eminence neai' 
the western bank of the river that crosses the Kingston' 
ground. AVhen the militia had advan'ced to a spot near the 
river, Gen. Cilley, at the head of a froop of horse, dashed 
into the enemy's ranks, which were instantly broken and 
put to flight, without filling a single gun. I'itany of their 
officers were takeli prisoners uj)on the spot; and the same 
night, a small detachment Seized several of the ringleaders, 
and committed them to goal in Exeter, whence they Avere 
shortly after discharged by the Court, after a proper sub-' 
mission. The vigorous ine'astires of Government, and the 
fear which they had inspired, rei'idered it unnecessary, m; 
t\"ell as impolitic, to resort to severer punishments/' 



EAMBLE CYI. 

Tlie Cutts ITamily. 



Prom/xeXt among the early settler.* of Nevt Hampshire' 
was the family bearing the name of Cutt, which in 1730 
added an s, making the niune Cidfs. We have already (in 
Ramble 5th) given an account of the emigration from 
Wales of the three brothers, John, Robert, and Richard 
Cutt, previous to 1(346. John was the first President of 
New Hampshire. His residence vvas not far from the cor- 
ner of Market and Russell streets, about where the stone 



THE CUTIS FAMILY. 143 

store now stands, — the grave yard on Green street, in 
Avhicli lie was buried, being' in bis orchard near his house. 
There the grave stones of his flimily are still to be seen. 
We have procured a copy of the inscriptions on ah these 
stones, and give them in Ramble 108. 

Richard Cutt and John were owners of at least one half 
of what is now the compact part of Portsmouth. In 1660 
the first fort on the present site of Fort Constitution, New- 
castle, was erected, and Richard Cutt was the first in 
command. 

Robert Cutt carried on ship building at Kittery. 

Among the papers of the late Edward Cutts, Esq., was 
recently found an old manuscript, probal)]y written about 
seventy-nine years ago, giving the Cutts family genealogy. 
We give it as a matter of record, in which many families 
are interested, adding a few explanatory words in brackets. 

CXJTTS G-EINTEAJLOGY. 

John Cutts, the eldest, afterwards President. 

Richard, the next. 

Robert, the third son. 

A sister, whos3 husband's name was Sh*pway. 

President Cutts had two wives. It is uncertain whether 
the first came with him ; slie left four children, viz : 

Hmnali, Miry, John and Samuel. 

Hmnah married Col. Rich'd Waldron, (son to Maj. Wal- 
dron who was murdered by Indians,) about 1681 or 1682, 
and died at the birth of her 1st child, whose name was 
Samuel, w!io lived 11 months only. 

Mary married Sim. Penhallow, Esq., (the celebrated Jus- 
tice,) and had 13 children — 5 sons and 8 daughters. Sons 
were Samuel, John, Joshua, Joseph, Benjamin. 

Sam. married in London, and left children tliere. 

John married the widow Walls (maiden name Butler,) 
had 2 sons and 1 daughtar. These sons are Sasn'l and 
John, now living. 

j\Liry died single, at about 20 years old. 

Joshua [Penhallow] died single ; Joseph married and 



144 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

settled in London ; Benj. died young. Of the 8 daughters, 
Hannah married Benj. Pemberton, Esq., Boston ; Mary 
married Benj. Gambling, Esq., Portsmo. ; Elizabeth, - JoW ^ 
Dummer, Esq., Newbnry. 

Phebe had 4 husbands, viz : a Mr. Gross, of Boston ; Mr. 
Vassell, the father of the present Mrs. Knight; Dr. Graves, 
of Charlestown ; and Francis Borland, a wealthy mercli't 
of Boston. She had only one child, viz : Mrs. Knight. 

Deborah married Mr. Knight, of Portsmo., merchant, and 
left 2 sons (Wm. and Temple) and one daughter (Deb'h 
Carter.) 

Olympia died single, at 18 years of age. 

Lydia married Henry Slooper, compelled by her father. 
She left one son, who died at sea. 

Susannah married Wm. Winkley. 

John Cutts [grandson] married a sister of Col. Moore. 
There was one son. 

Samuel Cutts, the youngest, married Harvey [Hannah 
Perkins.] Had several cliildren, who settled in Boston. 
His widow afterwards married Phips. 

The above are descended from President John Cutts. 

Richard Cutts^ the second brother, married the daughter 
of an English officer, who left England on account of the 
public commotions there. Had 2 daughters, Margaret and 
Bridget. 

Bridget had 2 husbands, viz : Daniel and Crawford, and 
died without children. 

[Bridget Cutts wrote the name of her second husband 
Graffort. This is probably another mode of spelling and 
pronouncing Crawford, though it is possible that Graffort 
and Crawford are distinct names.] 

Margaret married Maj. Wm. Vaughan. Had 2 sons and 
6 daughters. 

Cutts Vaughan died at Barbadoes, unmarried. 

Geo. Vaughan, afterwards Lieut. Gov. of New Hamp- 
shire, married Mary sister to Gov. Belcher, who died with 
her first child 1G99. He afterwards married to Elizabeth 
Elliot, of Newcastle, and had 11 children. 

Wm. Vaughan, the first son, was the first projector of the 
Louisburg expedition in 174-1 to 1746. He died unmarried, 
in London, in 174G. 



CUTTS' GENEALOGY. 145 

Elliot Vaughan married Anna Gerrish, and left 5 chil- 
dren, "William, George, etc., now living. 

Elinor Vaughan, the eldest daughter, was the second wife 
to Col. Rich'd Waldron (aforementioned). Had 2 sons and 
4 daughters. Rich'd Waldron, Esq., of Portsmo. was the 
eldest. He was Secretary of New Hampshire, and sus- 
tained many other offices. 

The second son was a minister at Boston, whose only 
daughter married Col. Josiah Quincy, of Braintree. 

Margaret Waldron, the eldest daughter, married Eleazer 
Russell, Esq., of Portsmouth, father of the present Eleazer 
Rassell, Esq. 

Anna married Henry Rust, minister of Stratham. 

Abigail married Col. Saltonstall, of Haverhill. 

Elinor died unmarried, at 19. 

Robert Cutts. 

He went from England to the West Indies, (Barbadoes 
or St. Kitt's,) where he married a wealthy Avidow, Avho died 
soon after, when he married a second wife, Mary Hoel, 
(who went from England to Ireland at 12 years of age, 
from whence she went to the West Indies,) who he brought 
to America. He first lived in Portsmouth, in the Great 
House, so called, at the bottom of Pitt street. He after- 
wards removed to Kittery, set up a carpenter's yard, and 
built a great number of vessels. He had 2 sous and -4 
daughters. 

Richard Cutts, the eldest son, married to , and had 

— children. 

[Richard had four if not more sons. Samuel, of Ports- 
mouth ; Richard, of Cutts' Island; Col. Thomas, of Saco; 
and Judge Edward Cutts, of Kittery. From the latter the 
late Edward Cutts, counsellor at law, of Portsmouth, de- 
scended. Samuel Cutts, a merchant (whose residence was 
on Market street, next south of the residence of the late 
Alexander Ladd,) Avas the father of Edward Cutts, the 
merchant, and Charles Cutts.] 

Robert Cutts, 2d son, married to Dorcas Hammond, 
dangliter to Major Joseph Hammond (whose father left 
England on the death of Cromwell, whose side he had 



146 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

taken in tlio contest with King Cliarlcs, and liere married 

to a daughter of Frost, who had leit England before, 

lieing an adherent of Charles the 1st.) Tliey had four 
daughters. 

Mary, the eldest, married to William Whipple. She had 
three sons and two daughters, and died in 1783, aged 85. 

Katharine married John Moffatt, and left one son and 
two daughters; and several children died before her. 

Mehitable married Jotham Odionie. Had a number of 
children, some of whom died young. She died in 1789, 
iiged 8G. She left three daughters and one son. 

Elizabeth married Rev. Joseph Whipple, and lived at 
Hampton. Afterwards married the Kev. John Lowell, and 
lived at Newbury, Avhom she also survived. 

The four daughters [of the first R,ol)ert Cutts] were 

1st, , married to — Briai*. 

2d, , married to Scriven 

3d, , married to Moore. 

4th, Elizabeth, married to Elliot. 

Ilobert Cutts' widow married an English gentleman, 

named-- Cliampernoone, of a respectable family. He 

visited England afterwards, and carried his wife's daughter 
Eh'zabeth with him; which dauirhter afterwards married 
to a Capt. Elliot, with whom she went a voyage by stealth. 

Champernoone died. His widow went to South Carolina 
with two or three of her daughters, who removed thither. 

There are no descendants of President John Cutts bear- 
ing the family name. 

Hunking, Benjamin, and .John Penhallow, were the sons 
of John P., the grandson of President John Cutts. 

The old house at the coi'uer of i\[arket and Deer streets, 
used I'or boarding by Mrs. Chase in late years, which was 
taken down about eight years since, was the residence of 
Lieut. Gov. Geoi-ge Wuighan, the grandson of Richard 
(^utt. From the Lieut. Gov. Yaughan all the family bear- 
ing the name in this vicinity descended. It was in this 
branch only that Richard Cutt had any descend:ints. That 
old hi use was a. distinguished seat in its early days. To 



RESIDENCE OF RICHARD CUTIS. 14T 

it came the sister of the Governor of Massachusetts 
as a bride, — and from it, in a year, the imposing cere- 
monies of lier i'uncral were displayed. From 1715 to 
1717 this house was the residence of the Governor of the 
State. Here, in 1703, was born William Vaughan, the 
projector of tlic Loiiisburg expedition, which shed a 
lustre upon American history. That old house should 
have been dagnerreotyped before it passed away. 



RAMBLE CVn. 

tiesidence of riicliaT'cl Ciatts — Oapt. 'Tiioinas Ijei<]!:li'.-^ 
Sea A-dventui-e — AVilliana TBenncitIv the Hostage — 
His fate. 

In our last, reference was made to the old house recently 
tsiken down at the corner of Market and Deer streets, the 
former residence of Lieut. Gov. George Yaughan. A 
biiildinf^ Oil the north, bounded on Market street, was an 
old ])ake house; and a brewer}", as early as 1790, was 
south-west of the house, on the opposite side of the street. 
The house where the late George Long for many year's 
I'esided, was built by F^amuel Ilart, (father of the late Rich- 
ard,) more than a centuiy ago, on what was then called the 
'' Malt Housd Lot." The localities are so nearly like 
those referred to in the Will of the first Richard Cutt 
[Ramble 5th,] that there seems a probability that the old 
house, demolished about eiglit years since, was In's resi- 
dence in 1G75, when he made his Will, — and tliat George 
Vaughan, his grandson, inherited it from him. If so, Pres- 
ident John and his brother Richard lived in the immediate 
neighborhood of each other. 

Elizabeth, a daughter of Gov. George Yaughan, married 



148 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

George Bennett. She was said to be a lady of excellent 
education, and liiglily accomplished for her times. She 
died nearly eighty years since, at the age of 93 years. 
William Bennett, referred to in the following narrative, 
was their son. 

The residence of Mr. George Bennett was on the spot 
where John P. Lyman's iron store now stands, opposite 
and a little south of the house of Capt. Samuel Cutts. We 
may imagine, a few years before the Revolution, a ship of 
perhaps 250 tons — a large vessel for those times — fitted 
out by Capt. Cutts at a wharf near by, with a freight ^for 
the West Indies, to proceed thence to Spain or .the Medi- 
terranean for a return cargo. She is under command of a 
well-informed master, Capt. Thomas Leigh. Young William 
Bennett, who had been brought up under the eye of the 
owner, ambitious to be himself a master, performs the 
duties of the first officer with a diligent and scrupulous 
attention. We may see the opulent owner on the wharf as 
the vessel departs, wishing them a prosperous voyage. 
On and on they sail, day by day. After touching at various 
ports, at length, in a Spanish port, the vigilant officer of 
customs discovers an infringement of their revenue laws, 
and the vessel is seized and condemned as a forfeit to Gov- 
ernment. [Another tradition says that the vessel was 
captured by the Algerincs ; we cannot decide which is 
correct.] In this emergency the clemency of the captors 
was extended in the offer to Capt. Leigh to release the 
vessel on the payment of several thousand dollars, consid- 
erably less than the real value of the vessel. But iiow 
could the money be paid? There was no way of sending 
for it direct, and to keep the vessel on expense for months 
was not the policy of ca'oulatnig men. Leave tw'o of your 
men as hostages, and depart, was the offer. "Leave me," 
said Bennett ; and his friend Mills was also left, as his com- 
panion. The stipulation was that they should be boarded 



WILLIAM BENXETT, THE HOSTAGE. 149 

until a specified time, ample for a return, — after that time 
they should be put in close confinement, and after another 
stipulated time, if no return, thev should be left Avithout 
food, to die of starvation. For some time the two friends,, 
confident in the good faith of the master, passed their time 
in as pleasant a manner as the circumstances Avould permit. 
At length an opportunity offered for them to escape. Mills 
availed himself of it; but no persuasion would lead Ben- 
nett, who had faith in the vessel's return, to join him. 
Bennett was at once imprisoned, when it was found that 
his partner was gone. Here we will leave him to follow 
the vessel home. 

As dear as his own life was Bennett to Capt. Leigh ; and 
the security of the lives of the hostages of far more value 
in his estimation than a dozen ships. They arrived safe in 
the Piscataqua, and the Captain, instead of keeping this 
vessel (which then belonged to a foreign power) below, 
until the terms of the ransom were complied with, brought 
her up to the wharf and delivered her to Capt. Cutts, 
having acquainted him with the condition on which she had 
been purchased, and receiving the promise that the condi- 
tions should be faithfully complied with. The lives of two 
valuable men depending on the fulfilment of the contract. 

The vessel is unloaded, and the cargo disposed of — but 
Captain Leigh sees no movement towards paying the ran- 
som. The anxious parents of Bennett entreated, and it 
was said that the ransom money had been forwarded. 
There is less anxiety for a time, but after the elapse of the 
earliest hour in which a return is expected, the anxiety 
increases. Sabbath after Sabbath now the notes of the 
distressed parents, can be heard from the pulpit of Eev. 
Dr. Langdon, asking prayers for a son in bondage in a for- 
eign land. And the blood of Capt. Leigh boils to his veins 
as he contemplates the dreadful result which the failure of 
the receipt of the ransom money must produce. He meas- 



150 RAMIJLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTII. 

iircs the time, lie knows the day wliuu his friends are to 
enter their prison house— he marks with feverish excite- 
;nent that dreiulful day when the pangs of starvation are to 
coninienee. Accounts received gave evidence that ])oor 
Ijenuett suffered the extent of the penahy ijnposed. This 
was too much forliunumity to bear. Leigh's mind feels the 
shock — but it did not at once cut him off from his regular 
business. At length, however^ he becomes insane, and thiS 
jiamo of Bennett is one the most frequent on his lips in 
his ravings. In the last centurj there were no asylums for 
those bereft of their reason, and the quarters of the alms- 
house were the best abodes to be found for those who 
could not safely be kept at home. Sixty years ago, when 
William Vaughan took tiie superintendence of our alms^ 
house, among the luifortunate persons under his charge w.as 
Capt. Thomas Ijcigh, who liad been a boarder in the insti- 
tution for more than twenty years. J lis son, a distinguished 
merchant of South JJerwick, who bore hjs father's name,' 
did every tiling for his comfort a son could do, but there 
was no return of that reason which the dreadful end jof 
WilHam ]>ennett tended to overthrow ; the remembrance of 
which was manilcst in his violent ravings to the close of 
life. 

The sister of William Bennett was tlie grandmother of 
WilHam Bennett Parker, Esq., of this city. 

Jose[)h Leigh, who was the only brotlier of Thomas, was a 
Commissary in the Ivc^vohition, and afterwards a shipmaster. 
He was truly patriotic in his I'eelings, and prided himself in 
being a citizen of the Republic, — the title so pleased him, 
that he was better known as '' Citizen Lee *'' than by any 
other name. He died about fifty-eight years ago. 



THE CUTIS AND PENH ALLOW CEMETERY. 151 

llAMBLE CVIII. 

Th.e Cutis and I?enhtillow Ceixietory oia G-reen Street, 

Thousands of the people of Portsmouth have never 
noticed the fifty feet lot on the north side of Green street, 
enclosed by a Avail of "lime and stone," as directed by 
President John Cult in his -will ni;uh3 in 1G80. It ai)pears 
that his first wife Hannah died six years previous to that 
time, that several of his children had died and been buried 
in '' the orchard," a few rods west of the President's houso 
which was near the shore, where the stone store now 
stands. 

After spending, rec-ently, an hour or two in the enclosure 
rubbing off the moss from the old grave stones to decipher 
the inscriptions, a friend put into our hand the result of a 
similar visit some years ago, so that by comparing notes 
"we are enabled to give the ancient inscriptions : 

"Here lyrs burleil tlie body of Mrs. Ilniinnh C'litt. Into \\\fr of Mr. John Cult, aged 42 
years, who dcpartuil this lifo on Ihc chiyof Novciiilier. 1C74." 

"Uero lies iiUerrod yc boilv of Mrs Mary I'oiihallow, late wifo to Samuel Tenhallow of 
roitsnionib, in ve Pnivliico orNowllanipshire in New England, Esq. Bho was born Nov. 
17Ui, lOOJ, and died Feb'y lUo 8Ui. 17 ia.' 

"Here lies buried ye body of tho Honorable Samuel Tenhallow. Esq.— first of His 
Majefity'8 Council of ye Pnrvinee of New Haiiipshirp,-'l)orn at Si Mabon, in ye County of 
Cornw'ail in Great lirituin, July 2d, 106.5— l^^cd JJec'r 2d, 1720— aged 01 years and 5 
months " 

•' Hero lyes Interred the body of the Hon Benjamin Gambling. Ksq. a Member of his 
Majesty's Council In the Province of New-Hampshiro, and Judge of the Pfobatc of Wills— 
who departed lliis life the ttrsl of September, 1757— aged 56 yrs.'' 

" Here lyes buried the body of Mr. Benjamin Gambling, who departed Jujic 2d, 171-1, in 
tho 30th ) ear of his age," 

" Hero lies buried tlie body of Mr William Knight. Merchant In Portsmouth— Deceaso.l 
Kovember 16lh, 17;30, in the 37ih year of his age." 

" Here lyes buried the body of Mrs Lydia Sloper. late wifr- to Capt. Henry Sloper— who 
deparled this life August, 17tli, 1718— aged 10 years ami 11 months." 

" Here lyes interred the body of .John Penhallow, Esq. who departed this lifo July 2Sth , 
Anno Domini 1735, aged -12 years." 

'• Here lyes buried the body of Mrs. Ellz.ibeth Penhallow, tho wife of John Penhallow, Esq. 
aged 47 years— wno departed this life Feb. 25, 1730." 

"Olympia Penhallow, 10:)3.'' 

These were all, with the exception of those on one or 
two grave stones of modern date. 

It is a little remarkable that the name of President Cutt 



152 EAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

was not placed upon the monument of his wife Hannah, for 
which a blank was evidently left. Nor do we here find a 
stone for Ursula, the widow of President Cutt, who was 
killed by the Indians, although here she doubtless was 
buried. 

The inscription on the monument of Hon. Samuel Pen- 
hallow shows him to be the first of the fomily that came to 
this country. The term '' first of his Majesty's Council," 
means that he was President of that body. We have seen 
an extended sketch of his life and services, written by the 
author of the Annals of Portsmouth, but not inserted in 
that work. He built a brick house Avhich stood at the head 
of the Pier, where he lived in a style of much grandeur for 
that day. This spacious house, which afterwards passed 
into the hands of the Sherburne family, and eventually 
became the Ntio Eamp&Idre Hotel, was situated on the 
south east corner of State and Water streets, and was con- 
sumed in the fire of 1813. 

His son, Samuel Penhallow, the grandfither of Hunking, 
Benjamin and John, married the sister of Sir Ribye Lake. 
The letter-book of Samuel, which is still in the family, 
contains one letter in which he writes to Sir Ribye, and 
among other things for which he makes himself indebted, 
is a scarlet cloak trimmed with gold lace, that he desires 
him to purchase for his sister Elizabeth, (Mrs. Elizabeth 
Penhallow.) This was after he grew rich, for he had many 
troubles and much sufiering in the early times of the coun- 
try — but his enterprise, perseverance and upright course 
were crowned with success. 



The following extract from a deed given by Gov. George 
Vauirhan in 1702, who then lived in the house at the north- 
west corner of Market and Deer streets, will serve to show 
the localities of some of the houses at that time. 

I, George Vaughan of Portsmouth, Gentleman, for £61 



THE EESIDENCE OF DEA. SAMUEL PENHALLOW. 153 

of and from Mieliael Whidden of the same town, have sold 
unto said Michael a certain piece of land containing ono 
house lot whereon stands a dwelling house which formerly 
was made use of as a bake house by Mr. Richard Cutt, 
deceased, laying near said Vaughan's mansion house on 
Strawberry Bank, said lot being 40 feet fronting on that 
highway which runs from Maj. Vauglian's to Mr. Waldron'a 
house, carrying tlie same breadth back and is 100 feet back 
from said street, is bounded with a street known by the 
name of Dear street, which runs between the said 
Vaughan's mansion house and that said lot. 

I say bounded with this street of 46 feet wide on the 
soTith side, with Sauiuel Hart's land on the north-west, and 
witli John Low's land on the south-west, together with 
the liberty of landing any goods, lumber, wood, &c. on a 
certain landing place, being given by the said Vaughan for 
the use of any such as may or have purchased land abut- 
ting on the aforementioned street known by the name of 
Dear street, which is 46 feet as aforesaid — together with 
all the privileges and advantages to the same appertaining 
or in any wise belonging : to have and to hold, &c. 



RAMBLE CIX. 

The IResidence of Dea. Sainnel IPenhallow. 

Another old landmark was removed in 1862 to give 
place to the more modern and sightly mansion built by 
Mr. Thomas E. Call. The old Penhallow house, which for 
more than a century formed the south-east corner of Court 
and Pleasant streets, is now among the departed. The 
exact date of its erection we cannot ascertain. It was 
here that the good Deacon Samuel Penhallow, and his prim 
lady lived and died. The little shop on the corner afforded 
to the public the needles, pins, thread, tape, snuff, and 
other useful and fancy articles — while in the adjoining 
H 



154 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

room on Pleasant street, the penalties of violated law were 
decreed with all the rigor which a sense of the majesty of 
the law required. This little room of justice was only 
large enough to admit the magistrate, the culprit, two 
attornies, and four witnesses — if more appeared they could 
only look in at the door. The smallness of the room 
seemed to make the law operations work with more celerity. 
In this room was the trial of poor Cassar Marston the slave, 
who stole the bucket of rum and received summary pun- 
ishment therefor, as recorded on page 118. 

We will give here a more detailed account of the inci- 
dent recorded on page 119. 

Jeremiah Mason came to Portsmouth in 1797. Not long 
after that time an article appeared in one of the papers 
by inuendo charging the administrator of the estate of 
Hunking Wentworth with unfair dealing. The article was 
so personal and so unjust, that the writer was sought out, 
and John Wentworth, the law3^er resident at Little Harbor, 
was found to be the man. Mr. Mason and his friend Mr. 
Fisher, determined to chastise him for the insult; and pro- 
curing cowhides they took a walk down Pleasant street at 
the time he usually came into town. They met Wentworth 
near the elm at the corner of Gates street, and after the 
application of the hide for a few times, he escaped by run- 
ning down Gates street. 

South-end was then easily excited ; the sympathy of 
Water street was raised in favor of their Republican friend 
Wentworth, and their wrath boiled over against the Fed- 
eralists who had assaulted him. It became at once a party 
matter. Mr. Wentworth entered his complaint, and Sheriff 
Edward Hart arrested Mason and Fisher. They promised 
to appear the next morning, agreeably to the summons, 
before Justice PenhalloAv, and so were released on their 
own recognizances. The next morning might be seen enter- 
ing that little room the great gun of the law, with his friend, 



ARREST OF MASON AND FI3HER. 155 

whilo around the door the sympathizers of "Wentworth 
might be seen in hundreds, awaiting the result of the trial. 
After the Avarrant was read, Mr. Mason told the magistrate 
they should not contend^ and asked for their fine. The 
Deacon made it some six or eight dollars — it was paid, and 
they were discharged. This was not satisfactory to the 
Republicans, who wished to have them bound over to the 
County Court, and some strong demonstration was at- 
tempted to be made. Mr. Mason, it will be recollected, 
was a man nearly six feet and a half in height. At that 
time he was much more slina than in after years, and his 
figure did not excel in gracefulness as it did in length. 
Capt. Thomas Manning saw that there was danger of his 
receiving rough treatment, and having a controlling influ- 
ence over tbe party, he sat in the door of the shop, resting 
on his cane, when Mr. Mason passed out. '' Hiss the Fla- 
mingo — hiss the Flamingo," said he, (knowing that some- 
thing must be allowed,) " but don't lay a finger on him." 
There was a general hissing- — and as Rome was once saved 
by a similar sound, so by it, Mr. Mason, somewhat affrighted, 
was protected. But it was hard work for him to press 
through the crowd. At this moment, Mr. Jacob Walden,a 
gentleman who had the general respect of the citizens, 
pressed forward and ofl'ered his arm to Mr. Mason, which 
was thankfully accepted, and they were able to reach the 
high steps of the Greenleaf house, then on the spot where 
Hon. Richard Jenness now resides, and going up the steps 
backward to keep an eye upon the hissing crowd, Mr. 
Mason retired. The excitement was soon over, and Mr. M. 
as he became more generally known as an able and dis- 
tinguished lawyer, was subjected to no further molesta- 
tion — nor did he ever give a like exciting cause for it. 

It was in this little room, that in about the year 17G0, 
John Sullivan, afterwards General, and President of New 
Hampshire, when a student with Matthew Livermore, sue- 



156 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

cessfullj plead liis first case — while Livermore, unknown 
to Sullivan, stood in the shop listening to the ingenuity of 
his student's argument. 

Could all the incidents of the old house be gathered, they 
would form a Ramble too extensive for one week. It is a 
matter of regret that these old landmarks should be torn 
down and be forever forirotten. 



RAMBLE ex. 



The Old Clock — Thp I^our G-^orge JafFreys — The Jaf- 
frey HoT:j.se. 

At the residence of the late Mr. Supply Ham, one of the 
ancient and honorable clock and watch makers of Ports- 
mouth, stands a monument of time, seven feet in hight, 
which notes the passing hours with the same regularity 
that the earth rolls upon its axis. It is an excellent piece 
of workmanship, showing no marks of wear in its ma- 
chinery, although that bright pendulum for more than five 
thousand millions of times, has swayed "here" — "there" — 
as in obedience to the command of the " tick " above it. 
The case is of the English oak, handsomely veneered — the 
key to wind it up is of fanciful w^orkmanship, and appears 
to be an imitation of that of the holy house of Loretto. — 
The clock, which was made by "J. Windmill, London," 
bears this inscription of its owners : 

•" 1677— George Jaffre^r, 1802— Timntliy Ham. 

1721)— Gf-orge Jafrev, Jr. 1:8")6— Supi>ly Hani 
1749— Georjie Jaffrey, Sd. 1862-Fraacis W. Ham " 

The first George Jaffrey, who appears to have been the 
■owiaer, was born in 1G37 at Newbury, where he lived some- 
time. Ther^e he married Elizabeth Walker in 1665. About 
that time he removed to Newcastle, and was Speaker of 
the New Hampshire Assembly which convened sometimes 
at that place. 



THE FOUR GEORGE JAFFREYS. 157 

But, as in these days, the people of old made haste to be 
rich more rapidly than through the channels of regular 
trade. Mr. JaflVey was a man of good repute, and a mem- 
ber of the Rev. Mr. Moody's church. But in 1684, for 
some attempt to import without paying regular duties, his 
vessel was seized and put under government charge. In 
the night the vessel mysteriously disappeared. Mr. JafTrey 
took oath that he had no knowledge of the affair. 

Although there was no doubt in the public mind in this 
respect, Gov. Cranfield was compounded with, and all legal 
proceedings against Jaffrey were stopped. But the consci- 
entious Mr. Moody was not so easily satisfied. He preached 
a sermon on false swearing, and had an ecclesiastical trial 
of Jaffrey. He acknowledged his crime, made a public 
confession, and we know not that he afterwards went astray. 
This proceeding was an occasion of great offence to Cran- 
field, and led to the imprisonment of Moody. The Annals 
of Portsmouth, p. 72, endeavors to veil the matter by using 
the name " George Janvrin, '' — the church records hoAvever 
give the trial as that of George Jaffrey. This old clock 
doubtless witnessed a sorry and anxious coitntenance fre- 
quently cast upon it in those days — when it occupied a 
place in the old Jaffrey house 'at Newcastle. That liouse 
still stands in the vicinity of Jerry's Point— originally, 
doubtless, Jaffrey's Point. 

His son George Jaffrey, Jr., (whose name appears as an 
owner of the old clock,) was born at Newcastle in lG83j 
graduated at Harvard College in 1702, was a mandamus 
counsellor in 1716, and after the death of Samuel Pen- 
hallow in 1726, was Treasurer of the Province. He was 
also Chief Justice of the Superior Court to the time of his 
death in 1749. 

He took up his residence in Portsmouth previous to 
1719 — as Ave find him holding various toAvn offices from and 
after that year — and built, probably as early as 1730, that 



158 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

unique structure on Daniel street, occupied by the heirs of 
the late Col. John Goodrich, which still retains the name 
of the Jaffrey Eouse. In the recollection of many, the 
fine front yard and elevated position of the mansion gave 
it a very inviting appearance from Daniel street. This 
yard and the extensive garden plot in the rear are now 
covered by many houses, but the old mansion stands yet 
conspicuous among them all. 

George Jaffrey 3d, son of the above, was born in 171G, 
graduated at Harvard in 173G, and in 1746 was one of the 
purchasers of Mason's patent, and then became an extensive 
landed proprietor. He occupied this house to the day of 
his death in 1802. If he was ever married,, the fact never 
reached us. This old clock was his companion Ms whole 
life of 86 years. He was a man of about five feet seven ot 
eight inches in height^ portly, and being one of his Maj- 
esty's Council was very dignified in his appearance. His 
red cloak, small clothes, silk stockings and heavy gold shoe 
buckles, are well remembered by our older citizens. He was 
appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court in 17-1I,, which office 
he retained until he was admitted as one of his Majesty's 
Council in 1766. He was also Treasurer of the Province 
until the Revolution. He was strongly opposed to the 
change in the government. 

One da}'-, while mending his buckle, a goldsmith re- 
marked, "I suppose you prize this highly not only for its 
intrinsic value, but also for its Tower mark and Crown 
stamp." " Yes," said he bringing down his cane with 
violence, '' yes — we never ought to have come off." 

The Jaffrey mansion was kept in the most perfect order, 
not only externally, but also internally. On one occasfon 
no small offence was given to a neighbor, who was applied 
to for some of their cobwebs to put on a cut finger, as 
none could be found in the premises. 



THE JAFFREY HOUSE. 159 

He was opposed to oral prayer, deeming those who thus 
pray hypocrites. But in church on one Sunday his voice 
was heard in response above all others. He had been 
much annoyed by encroachments on the boundaries of 
some of his extensive estates in the interior, and went to 
church with a vexed mind from that cause. In the course of 
the service, when '' Cursed be he who removeth his neigh- 
bor's landmark " was read— ''Amen !" said Jaffrey with a 
loud voice and hearty good will. At one time, the Rev. 
Dr. Brown chanced to come abruptly upon him when he 
was uttering a volley of oaths. "I am surprised, sir," said 
he, '' that you should so soon, after denouncing praying 
men as hypocrites, be found offering to God a petition." 

His will was drawn up by the Hon. Jeremiah Mason, 
whose kind efforts to alter some of its controlling features 
were ineffectual. That will bequeathed all the real and 
and personal estate of Mr. Jaffrey to his grand nephew and 
namesake, George Jaffrey Jeffries, then only thirteen years 
of age. The inheritance was on these conditions ; that he 
should drop the name of Jeffries ; become a permanent 
resident in this city ; and never follow any profession 
except that of being a gentleman. As an heir to an estate 
supposed to be immense, and destined to a profession not 
specifically acknowledged among us, Mr. Jaffrey was of 
course to be furnished with the best possible education, 

Mr. George Jaffrey (the fourth) accepted the name, and 
occupied the mansion here for several years, — led the li£b 
of a gentleman, and in 185G died at the age of QiC) years. 
As he left no son nor estate to continue the name, the line 
of George Jaffreys closed with him. 

The old clock v.'ith other old furniture was sold in 1802, 
and it became the property of the grandfather of the present 
owner. It still goes on undisturbed by the succession of 
six generations, and its swaj-ing pendulum is likely to say 
*' pass on. pass on," to many generations to come. 



160 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

KAMBLE CXI. 

Rev. Sainuel IVIcCliiatocli;. 

In the picture of the battle of Bunker Hill^ representing 
the fall of Gen. Warren, may be seen in the group a cler- 
gyman arrayed in his bands, who appears to be deeply 
interested in the battle. That man was the Rev. Samuel 
McClintock, D. D. of Greenland, N. H., the father of the 
venerable John McClintock, who died in Portsmouth a few 
years since at the age of O-t, retaining his mental and phys- 
ical faculties to the last. 

We have recently been applied to for a history of Rev. 
Dr. McClintock, and have been enabled to collect the 
following from an authentic source, embracing some inter- 
esting facts which have never before appeared in print. 

William McClintock, (the father of Dr. Samuel McClin- 
tock, the subject of this article,) was a respectable farm>er^ 
born in Scotland. From thence he early removed to Lon 
donderry in Ireland, probably in the latter part of Jam'es 
the Second's reign. When his intrigues, in order to rein- 
state Catholicism, were creating great uneasiness among his 
people, James endeavored by taking sides with the Kirk to 
overthrow the Episcopacy, for by thus pitching one party 
against another and holding the balance of power,, he 
hoped in the end to turn the scale and restore Catholicism. 
But the Presbyterians were too cunning for him : strong 
as was their hatred of Episcopacy, their dislike for Cathol- 
icism was greater, and uniting with their Episcopal breth-- 
ren, they showed themselves ready to receive his favors 
but iinwilling to enter into any of his plans. The civil 
wars of Charles the first were not however forgotten, and 
raiany were fearing new changes, and enf>igrated from all 
parts of the kingdom. Among these was- Mr, McClintock. 
He went where he found friends ; for the eastern coast ©-f 



BEV. SAMUEL M'cLINTOCK. 161 

Ireland and the west of Scotland have in all ages been 
inhabited by men of the same stock. But the war was 
transferred to Ireland, and James sat down before London- 
derry, determined to press it by a slow siege. This was 
one of the most important and most obstinately contested 
sieges during the whole war. It continued from the month 
of December, 1688, until August, 1689. The garrison 
Buflered all the miseries attendant on a protracted siege, 
which they bore with unflinching fortitude. 

King William at length relieved the place. Mr. McClin- 
tock with some others emigrated to America Avhen the war 
was over. Their fortunes had probably been dissipated, 
and they hoped to find that religious peace and those 
worldly comforts which they sought for in vain in their 
own country across the ocean. 

Mr. McClintock settled on Mystic river, but his compan- 
ions travelled on to Londonderry in this State, which they 
named after their parent town. Mr. McClintock continued 
quietly to till his farm without entering into any of the 
politics of the day, busy with Scotch thrift in increasing 
his property, and died at the advanced age of ninety. He 
was married four times, had nineteen children, — and left 
by his last wife one daughter and two sons. 

Dr. Samuel McClintock was born in 1732. He was edu- 
cated at Princeton College, under the care of President 
Burr, the father of the distinguished Aaron Burr. 

We may suppose that he finished his course with honor, 
for his sermons bear the marks of great mental discipline, 
and we have been told that throughout his life he was dis- 
tino-uished as one of the finest Latin scholars in New 
England. 

After having finished his studies, stopping on a journey 
to Portsmouth, he was invited to preach before the Congre- 
gational Society of Greenland, who were in want of an 
assistant for their pastor, Mr. Allen, then very infirm with 



1G2 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

age ; and so favorable was the impression he made, that he 
was immediately invited to share his labors. He soon after 
accepted and entered upon his duties. It is reported that 
t'.ie charms of a certain Mary Montgomery, of Scotch 
extraction, and who resided in Portsmouth, had a great 
influence in inducing Mr. McClintock to accept a charge 
which offered so little in a worldly point of view. This 
lady Dr. McClintock married, and if she induced him to 
accept the offer of the Greenland Society he never repent- 
ed it. His salary was but $300 a year, with the parsonage, 
a small and not over fertile flirm. This seems little enough, 
when we recollect that the Dr. had fifteen children to sup- 
port, and the tax upon his hospitality was somewhat heavy, 
as there were no hotels in those days, and the pastor was 
expected to entertain all the travelling clergymen of his 
own denomination, and other men of any note. 

His children have amusingly related that whether the 
cow gave more milk or less, the quantity was always the 
same, — it was, to be sure, a trifle bluer. Dr. McClintock 
had many calls to richer churches, but he preferred his 
own people, to whom he was endeared by a long ministry 
of forty-eight years of uninterrupted usefulness. During 
the revolution he strongly espoused the side of the people, 
as his temper was ardent, and he verj^ easily broke the bond 
of allegiance to a government to which his religious prin- 
ciples were opposed, and from which his ancestors had 
suffered so much. 

His character gave weight to his opinions, and we must 
give him credit for courage, since he was so ready to stand 
forth boldly in a doubtful cause, when in case of defeat his 
ruin was certain. He was Chaplain at the battle of Bunker 
Hill, and is represented in Trumbull's picture of that bat- 
tle ; and he has left a sermon on the adoption of the con- 
stitution, exhibiting the enlarged views of a patriot and 
the temper of a Christian. 



REV. SAMUEL Sl'CLINTOCK. 163 

But Dr. McClintock suffered severely in the cause which 
he espoused with such boldness. Three of his sons perish- 
ed in the Avar. One of them, Nathaniel, received a colle- 
giate education at Harvard, but the war breaking out he 
joined General "Washington, and was raised to the rank of 
Major of Brigade. He was in the New Hampshire line at 
the battles before the capture of Burgoyne on the 19th of 
September and the 7th of October. After the capture, his 
regiment was ordered South, and he was with Washington 
at the memorable capture of the Hessians at Trenton. He 
was then (although he had not reached 21 years of age.) 
raised to the rank of Major of the line, over all the older 
Captains. And as he was therefore regarded with jealousy 
by those lower than himself in rank, he resigned his com- 
mission and returned home. He was induced to take the 
command of a company of marines which went out in a 
ship-of-war, the Raleigh, and soon after perished in an 
engagement. Another son of Dr. McClintock was an offi- 
cer at the battle of Trenton and there slain ; and a third 
was lost at sea, serving as a midshipman, and afterwards as 
lieutenant in a ship-of war. Doctor McClintock bore all 
these trials with christian fortitude. 

He was loved and esteemed by his parish, and in the 
latter part of his life received the Diploma of Doctor of 
Divinity from Princeton College where he was educated. 

He enjoyed uninterrupted good health, and was only ill 
a few days before his death, which took place at the age of 
72. In his writing desk were found the following instruc- 
tions to his son John : 

I feel myself sinking in the vale of years, near the house 
appointed, and have had for some time a premonition that 
the time of my departure is near. It may be imagined. 
However, considering that I have exceeded the stated 
period of human life, it must be expected that I am draw- 
ing near the great period. My only hope of being happy 
beyond the grave is founded on the mercy of God and the 



1G4: RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

merits of a Divine Redeemer. May you, long after I shall 
be here no more, enjo}^ happiness in the endearments of an 
agreeable companion and pleasant children. You know 
that I have appointed you executor of my will, and that 
therein I have expressed my desire that the solemnity of 
my funeral should be conducted in the manner that is cus- 
tomary at the funerals of my parishioners, Avithout any 
parade or sermon which has commonly been the custom at 
the funerals of those who have sustained any public char- 
acter in life. If you should think it proper, about which I 
am perfectly indifferent, to erect a head-stone at my grave, 
which in that case I wish may be quite a plain one, I would 
have you inscribe in it the following epitaph, without an 
addition or alteration, except filling up the blanks for the 
months and years of my decease and standing in the 
ministry. 

To the memory of Samuel McClin-tock, D. D. who died in the — year of his 

age, and — of his ininislry. 

His body rests hero in the certain hope of a resurrection to life and immortality, when 
Christ =bnll appear the second time to destroy th; last enemy, Death, and to consummate 
the great design of his mediatorial kingdom. 

The annual fast, which was the 19th of April, 1804, was 
the last of his preaching; and what was remarkable, on 
his return to his family he observed that he had done Jiis 
preaching. He continued until the morning of the 27th of 
April, when he exchanged this world for another, and is, 
we trust, reaping the reward of a faithful servant in the 
kingdom of God. 

His grave-stone, inscribed as above with the blanks filled, 
(died 27th April, 1804, aged 72— 48th of his ministry,) may 
be seen in the Greenland Cemetery. 

Dr. McClintock had two wives, his first Avife, Mary Mont- 
gomery, died Aug. 4, 1785, aged 48, For his last wife he 
was married to a widow Mrs. Darling. The match was 
not very congenial. She was not so strictly the darling of 
his heart as his first love. She survived him. 

Dr. McClintock's religious views were strictly calvinis- 
tical in the early part of his ministry. Some regarded 
them harsh and untempered by the law of love. This is 



REV. SAMUEL M'CLINTOCK. 165 

not surprising when we consider the troubled times in 
which those men were educated in violent struggle for 
civil and religious liberty, when even their prejudices 
seemed sanctified by their blood. Men who had so long 
followed the pillar of fire might easily forget that there 
were souls Avho needed the refreshing shadow of the cloud. 
The opi^nions of Dr. McCHntock were however much milder 
in the later portion of his life, but he was always strenuous 
in his appeals, with something of the enthusiasm and the 
better part of the perseverance of his Scotch ancestors, 
Full of simplicity and honesty, it is not too great praise to 
say that if his head sometimes erred his heart was nearly 
always right. 

History informs us that during the battle of Bunker Hill 
this venerable clergyman knelt on the field, with hands 
upraised, and grey head uncovered ; and, while the bullets 
whistled around him, prayed for the success of the comr 
patriots, and the deliverance of his country. This rare 
incident prompted the following beautiful ode from the pep 
•of Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney. 

THE PRA.-Y1ER, OIS" BXTTSTKEE, HTLJL.. 

"It was an hour of fear and dread— 

High rose the battle-cry. 
And ronnd, in heavy volumes, spread 

The war-cloud to the sky. 
'Twas not, as when in rival strength 

Contending nations meet. 
Or love of conquest madly hurls 

A monarch from his seat : 

" Yet one was there, unused to tread 

The path of mortal strife, 
Who but the Saviour's flock had fed 

Beside the fount of life. 
He knelt him where the black smoke Trreathe(J-»- 

His head was bowed and bare, — 
While, for an infant land he breathed 

The agony of prayer. 

"The column, red with early morn, 
May tower o'er Bunker's height, 
And proudly tell a race ,u,nborn 



166 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Their patriot fatlicrs' might; — 
But thou, O patriarch, old and groy, 

Thou prophet of the frefi, 
Who Ivuelt ainou',' tlic dead that day, 

What fame sliall rise to thee ? 

"It is not meet iliat brass or slone 

Which feel tlie touch of time. 
Should keep the record of a laith 

That woke thy deed 8ul)'ime : 
Wo trace it to the tablet fair, 

Which glows when stars wax pale, 
A promise that the good man's prayer 

Shall with his (Jod prevail." 



EAMBLE CXII. 

Slcetcli of IN"ewcastle- 



' The history of Newcastle is of some interest, as the first 
settlement in New Hampshire was made in 1623, upon its 
borders, by a Scotchman named David Thompson. He was 
selected by the Company of Laconia, in England, to estab- 
lish a permanent settlement in this province. Shortly after 
his arrival he built the first house on Odiorne's Point, a 
few rods distant from what resembles the remains of an 
ancient fort. It was afterwards called Mason Hall, in honor 
of a prominent member of the company under whose au- 
spices the settlement was begun. The house remained 
standing for many years. 

The original designation was Great Island, but in 1693, 
it was separated from Portsmouth, and incorporated under 
its present name. At the time of its incorporation a large 
portion of land on the west was included within its limits, 
but in consequence of the incorporation of Rye in 1719, 
its area was reduced to 458 acres. The soil, though thickly 
interspersed with rocks, has ever been made to produce 
abundantly ; and owing to the plentiful supply of seaweed, 



NEWCASTLE. 167 

the farmers need never fail for want of the proper means 
of enriching their lands. 

The original copy of the ancient charter, written through- 
out in Old English or Black Letter, can now be seen in the 
office of the Selectmen, though the seal has been cut off 
by some individual ignorant of its real importance. It is a 
very interesting document, written upon parchment, and 
and is one of the many relics of antiquity to be found in 
Newcastle. 

Formerly a bridge was built on the south-west side of 
the town, forming a means of connection between Rye and 
Newcastle ; and, previous to the building of the new 
bridges in 1821, all travellers for Portsmouth went by way 
of the "Old Bridge," Owing to carelessness and neglect, 
nearly all signs of the " Old Bridge" have now vanished. 

It it well known that the annual meeting in Newcastle 
for the choice of town officers takes place one week before 
the usual State election, yet but few seem to know when 
this custom originated. By referring to the charter, it is 
found that requisition was then made for this matter, con- 
cerning which we make the following extract: 

" And for the better order, rule and government of the 
said Towne, wee doe by these presents Grant for us and 
our Successors unto the men and Inhabitants of the said 
Towne, That yearly and every year upon the first Tuesday 
of March, forever, they, the said men and Inhabitants of 
our said Towne, shall elect and choose by the major part 
of them, two sufficient and able men, householders in the 
said Tow^e, to be Constables for the year ensuing, which 
said men so chosen and elected, shall be presented by the 
then next preceding Constables to the next Quarter ses- 
sions of the peace to be held for the said province, there to 
take the accustomed oaths appointed by Law for the ex- 
ecution of their offices under such penalties as the law of 
our said province shall appoint and direct upon refusall or 
neglect therein. And we doe by these presents Grant for 
us, our Heirs, and Successors, unto the men and Inhabi- 



168 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

tants of the said Towne, That yearly and every year upon 
the said first Tuesday of March, forever, they, the said men 
and inhabitants • of our said Towne, or the major part of 
them, shall elect and choose three men, Inhabitants and 
householders of our said Towne, to be overseers of the 
poor and highways, or selectmen for our said Towne for 
the year ensuing with such powers, privileges and author- 
ities as any overseers or selectmen within our said prov- 
ince have and enjoy." 

For the privileges enjoyed as an incorporated towai, it is 
further stated that there shall be paid " the annual quitt 
rent or acknowledgment of onne Pepercorn in the said 
Towne on the five twentieth day of October yearly forever." 

Soon after the settlement of Great Island, a fort was 
'built upon Frost Point, to serve as a protection to the 
harbor. It was an earthwork " made with certain great 
gunns to it," and in the year 16G0 was mentioned in the 
documents of that day as the means of distinguishing 
Great Island from other islands in the vicinity. It was 
several times remodeled, and for many years prior to the 
war of the Revolution, was called Fort William and Mary, 
named in honor of the King and Queen of England. In 
the eleventh year of the reign of Charles the first, of Eng- 
land, the Island together with the Fort came into possession 
of Mistress Anne Mason, widow of John Mason, of Lon- 
don, who, at the time of his death, was engaged in mercan- 
tile puj'suits. Portions of the island were afterv/ards 
deeded to Robert Mussel and other individuals, by her 
agent, Joseph Mason of " Strawberry Bank" on the river 
of the " pascattaquack." 

At the time of the passage of an act in 1774, by George 
III. forbidding the exportation of gunpowder to America, 
the Fort was garrisoned by Captain Cochran and five men, 
and the ships-of-war Scarborough and Canseau were daily 
expected to arrive with several companies of British 
soldiers to rerinforce the garrison. On receipt of the news 



NEWCASTLE. 1G9 

a company of citizens from Portsmouth determined upon 
seizing the arms and ammunition at the earhest period. 
They procured a gondola at midnight, and anchoring a 
short distance from the fort, waded ashore and scaled the 
walls. Shortly after their arrival they encountered the 
Captain, who delivered to them his sword. It was, how- 
ever, immediately returned, for which favor he tendered 
his thanks. Having taken one hundred barrels of powder, 
they started on their return, and on leaving the Fort were 
rewarded for the favor before shown to the commanding 
officer, by his giving them a lunge with his sword. They 
tarried not at the insult, but hastened on board the gondola 
and rowed up the Piscataquato Durham. On their arrival., 
the ammunition was taken to the cellar of the Congre- 
gational Church, W'here it remained for some time ; thence 
it was taken to Bunker Hill, where on the 17tli June it was 
used to the disadvantage of the British. On the following 
day the Fort was again entered, and " fifteen of the lighter 
cannon and all the small arms taken away." The Scarbor- 
ough and Canseau soon after arrived. 

In the autumn of 1775, fearing an attack upon Ports- 
mouth, General Sullivan, at that time a resident of Durham, ' 
N. H., was appointed by General Washington to take com- 
mand of the militia of this State and to defend this harbor. 
Several fortifications had been thrown up, which he strength- 
ened, and placed in them several companies of militia. In 
Fort William and Mary a company of artillery were placed 
who " were allowed the same pay as soldiers of the Conti- 
nental Army." 

In 1808 the Fort was again rebuilt under the name of 
Fort Constitution, and remained until a new structure was 
commenced in 1863, upon the same spot. 

The Fort on Jatfrey's Point at the entrance of Little 
Harbor, was once thought to be a very important post. It 
v/as garrisoned in the war of 1812 by citizens of this and 
12 



170 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

other towns, under command of Capt. William Marshall, 
who remained stationed at that post for several years. 
Nine guns, G and 9 pounders, were placed in position, and 
on several occasions full one hundred and tAventj men were 
stationed there. 

A short distance from this Fort may be seen another 
Fort, situated upon rising ground near the bridge leading 
from Newcastle to Portsmouth. This post was not consid- 
ered of much importance, yet several cannon were held in 
readiness to be placed upon it at short notice. 

During the visits of the English ships to this harbor in 
1775-6, a spirit of hatred seemed to prevail against the 
British seamen, but by the major part of the citizens they 
were respectfully treated. The sailors would often conduct 
badly, and if reprimanded would threaten to fire upon the 
town. Oftentimes the lives of the inhabitants were en- 
dangered, and on some occasion, a committee of citizens 
waited upon the commander of the Scarborough, offering 
an apology for some fancied insult to his men, to prevent 
him from permitting the threats of the sailors to be carried 
into execution. Owing to the state of public excitement at 
•that early period of the Revolution, many citizens left the 
town and many more were prepared to leave at a moment's 
warning. 

In the rear of the Congregational Church is a well in which 
some of the citizens once placed their silver ware for safe 
keeping: and near the fish yard of Veranus C. Rand may be 
noticed a depression of the ground, showing the site of an 
old revolutionary house, which was then occupied by 
a Mrs. Trefethren, who was noted for refusing water to 
the British sailors on account of her hatred to them. It 
is stated that notwithstanding her positive refusal to permit 
the sailors of the Scarborough to get water there, they once 
succeeded in filling their casks ; and leaving them near the 
well, visited the central part of the town. No sooner were 



NEWCASTLE. 171 

they out of sight than she emptied the casks. Upon their 
return they demanded of her why she had turned away 
their water. She promptly replied that she did not turn 
away their water ; the water was her own. On returning 
to the ship they rewarded her by fimig a ball through the 
room in which her family were sitting.* 

Portsmouth, in its proximity to the ocean, and the many 
convenient landing places between the city and the islands 
outside of the light-house, has peculiar advantages for the 
water excursions that have ever been so popular with its in- 
habitants. Newcastle, previous to the construction of the 
bridges that connect it Avith the city, was a favorite resort, 
Avhere they were wont to cook their fish and partake 
of their refreshments, generally at some favorable spot on 
the rocky shore, or obtain permission to occupy apartments 
for the purpose at one of the dwellings at the water-side. 
A public house, kept a Mr. Bell, also received a share of 
of patronage on some of these occasions. On the prem- 
ises was an out-door bowling-alley, or, in ancient phrase, 
" a bowling-green," of which one of the memories that sur- 
vive is the dilapidated condition of the pins from long and 
hard usage, and the reply of a visitor to the landlord who 
complimented him on his skill at the game. " Oh," said he, 
" it does not require much skill to knock doivn the pins, but 
if it were as hard to upset them as it is to set them up, I 
should never have got that tenstrike." The following, 
copied from the graceful chirography of a former much 
esteemed citizen of Portsmouth, is a record of a winter 
excursion, under unusual circumstances, to Newcastle : 

"Feb. 17th, 1817- — Inconsequence of the severe weather 
of last week, I was enabled to-day in company with my 
brother-in-law, D**>^* jj^^*^**^ to walk to Newcastle on 
a substantial bridge of ice. We stopped at George Bell's, 

♦The foregoing portion of this Eamble was prepared by Mr. Tliomas B. Frost of New- 
castle. 



172 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

wlio furnislied us with a dinner of line fresh cod, taken 
at the edge of the ice, 172 yards from the end of his 
wharf We measured the ice on our return, and found it 
18 inches in thickness, over which sleighing parties were 
merrily gliding on their way to the Island. T. G. M." 

There are few, if any, of the natives of our city, who 
have not remembrances, at some period of their lives, of 
pleasant hours passed upon the water. In m}' childhood , 
■writes one whose early life was passed on the shores of 
the Piscataqua, there were five brothers in one family circle, 
of Avhose aquatic adventures, in their youth at the close 
of the last century, I never wearied, as they Avere recalled 
when they met at each other's dwellings. One fine sum- 
mer night, wdien the moon was shining brightly, they went 
to one of the small islands outside of the light-house — 
Wood Island I think — in pursuit of lobsters. After setting 
their nets they landed and built a fire among the bushes a 
short distance back from the beach, and making a kettle of 
chocolate, enjoyed a hearty meal from the stock of refresh- 
ments always taken into consideration among the requisite 
accompaniments of such expeditions. This pleasant per- 
formance over, they went to look for their boat, but great 
was their consternation, instead of finding it, as they antic- 
ipated, high and dry upon the sand, to discover that it had 
got loose from its moorings, and was fast travelling, with 
the tide, in the direction of the Shoals. The misfortune 
was increased by the fact that it was a new one, the prop- 
erty of a relative, who had given them many injunctions 
as to its good usage. Like the man in the play, they were 
in a peculiarly pei'plexing ' predicament,' but trusting as a 
last extremity, to their usual good luck, in ihe product of 
their nets, which Avere Avithin reach by swimming, for some- 
thing to eat, and in the hope that some passing boat Avould 
take them off in the morning, they took the most philo- 
iBopliie yiew of the matter possible, and wrapping them- 



NEWCASTLE. 173 

selves in the rongli overcoats always taken in their noctur- 
Tial voyages, they retired again to the shelter of the bushes, 
and ere long were fast asleep. They awoke just as the 
first rays of the sun appeared above the horizon, and look- 
ing seaward, to their great satisfaction discovered a tishing- 
boat in the distance, with another boat in tow, which they 
liad no doubt was their lost craft, as it eventually proved 
when Avitliin hailing distance. An abundant supply of 
lobsters was found in their nets, which were shared witli 
the men Avho had restored their boat, and they reached 
home in season to relate their adventures around the family 
breakfast table. On their return from another trip by 
moonlight to the dominions of Neptune, they brought with 
them a supply of eels, of an unusually large size, which, 
to facilitate the process of preparing for the frying-pan, 
were deposited in the ashes of the kitchen fire-place. At 
an early hour of the morning, before daylight had fully 
appeared, the family " help," an eccentric and rather super- 
stitious specimen of feminine humanity, descended to the 
apartment, and, on opening the door, obtained a glimpse of 
a dozen or more strange looking animals, of serpentine 
form and of a dusky hue, disporting themselves among the 
sand upon the floor. A moment later the mistress of the 
mansion was awakened from her slumbers by a knock on 

her door, and a fimiliar voice exclaiming, '' Oh, Miss , 

I believe the old serpent and his tchole family are in the 
kitchen and I am afraid to go down there." A few words 
of explanation settled the matter, and in a brief space of 
time the eels were retreating bef )re energetic thrusts from 
a birch broom, that received from its holder an additional 
impetus for the fright she had received. Two of the broth- 
ers were shipmasters in after years, and spont the largest 
portion of their lives upon the ocean. They have all sailed 
upon tlieir last voyage, but the legends of their youth will 
Ions: survive them. 



174 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

RAMBLE CXIII. 

T^ewcastle Renainisences of Forty-Five Years ^go. 

Anterior to the erection of the bridges that now connect 
it Avith Portsmouth, many of the least cultivated among the 
older inhabitants of Newcastle, isolated as they were from 
the outer world, especially during the inclement seasons of 
the year, were about as primitive in their ideas as the dwel- 
lers at the Shoals, and scarcely less peculiar in their dialect. 
Separated by some three miles of water communication 
from Portsmouth, it was no uncommon occurrence to hear 
quiet, stay-at-home bodies among the old ladies acknowledge 
that they " had not been to town " in ten to a dozen 3^ears, 
and inquiries would be rii ide as to individuals they had 
once known, as if the place were a thousand miles away. 

A more antique locality, previous to the consummation 
of that achievement in the march of improvement, the 
construction of the bridges, could not have been found in 
all New England. While many of the dwellings Avere 
spacious and comfortable, there were very few of modern 
construction ; by far the larger proportion gave evidence 
of having been erected in the earlj^ part of the last cen- 
tury ; many were so dilapidated by age as to be almost 
untenantable, and others had reached that point in their his- 
tory, and Avere undergoing the process of being converted 
into firewood. 

One of the most antique of these moss-covered structures 
of the olden time, Avas the ancient church that occupied 
the site of the modern edifice, of Avhich the Rev. Mr. 
Alden is pastor. Though sadly fallen to decay, traces 
existed to shoAv that taste had not been omitted in its con- 
struction. Erected originally for the service of the English 
Church, the chancel remained in good preservation, and 
relics survived of ornamental devices that had once sur- 



NEWCASTLE. 175 

mounted the creed and decalogue. The sills had gone to 
decay, and the floor had consequently sunk some inches 
below its original position, but the building served for 
summer use, and the people loving the old place of worship 
■where their ancestors had been wont to gather, continued to 
to occupy it every season until the cold winds of autumn 
drove them to the slielter of the less spacious but more 
comfortable structure, where on week-days, 

'' The village master taught his little school." 

Among the many improvements upon the island none 
are more conspicuous than those visible in the vicinity of 
the spot occupied at a former day by the ancient sanctuary. 
The tasteful and well-kept flower garden, with its gravelled 
walks, wrought out of the once rough, uncultivated ground, 
attached to the modern church, has in its season of bloom 
a most bright and cheerful appearance, highly complimen- 
tary to him to whose good taste citizens and strangers 
are annually indebted for so pleasant a feature ; and the neat 
enclosure around the little cemetery, with the order in 
which it is kept, are a great improvement upon our earlier 
remembrances of the place, when a rough board fence or 
dilapidated stone wall, luliick the writer has forgotten, alone 
protected it from the incursions of stray animals in search 
of pasture. 

At the time of which we write, there was much of social 
and neighborly intercourse among the people of the island, 
as they met and discussed the news brought by some one 
who had returned from a trip to town, an event oftentimes 
not of daily occurrence in unpropitious weather, especially 
during a sharp, cold spell of mid-winter. The receipt of 
the Journal and Gazette were semi-weekly ever. Is of rare 
interest, and their contents from the title to the iast line of 
the advertisements on tlie fourth page, were duly digested. 
A Boston paper was about as much of a novelty to the 
inhabitants as is now one from Canton or Honolulu. 



176 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

The writer has some especially pleasant recollections of 
the friendly intercourse referred to, that seemed in a meas- 
ure a realization of the scenes in rural life so delightfully 
pictured forth by Goldsmith in the Deserted Village, and 
in the London story-books that then formed so prominent 
a feature in juvenile literature. One place of sojourn was 
at the residence of the village teacher, still in existence at 
the summit of a high bluff on the seashore. Opposite tho 
house was a large and thriving garden, and higher up, on 
an elevation too rocky for culture, was a delightful spot, 
embracing a vmw of Portsmouth, and the ocean far out to 
sea, where the youth of both sexes used to gather at the 
close of day, and on raoonlig-lit evenings, and participate in 
the ever-popular sports of childhood. 

One of the incidents of life to the people of Newcastle 
was the frequent appearance, during the summer season, of 
a fleet from Kittery and EHot upon their shores, for the 
purpose of bartering vegetables and fruit for dried codfish 
and halibut, and other products of tho brisk fishing trade 
then carried on from the island. As a general thing the 
values of articles on both sides were so well understood as 
to render the business a very simple one, but an amusing 
scene occasionally occurred between a pair of sharp bar- 
gainers, each affecting to depreciate the other's goods, that 
would have done honor to the parties in a horse-trade. 
Such a scene between an attache of Hannah Mariner's 
squadron, with a stock of green corn and whortleberries, 
and an old lady of the island with dried halibut to dispose 
of, each boasting, when the trade had been concluded, of 
having outwitted the other, left, in its oddity, an ineffacable 
impression upon our memory. 

Fort Constitution imparted much animation to the island, 
and not a little to Portsmouth, being still under command 
of Col. Walbach, and with a larger force stationed there 
than at any other period within our memory. The baud 



COURT MAETIAL AT FORT CONSTITUTION. 177 

numbered every instrument then known in martial music, 
and with such an attraction, the morning and evening 
parades were well worth attending. Musicians were not 
then very plenty in our good city, none making it a pro- 
fession, and it was a well appreciated luxury when the old 
hero, while in the service of his native Prussia, of twenty- 
six pitched battles against Bony, occasionally came to town 
with his command, and the fine band stirred up the people 
with such airs as " Wreaths for the Chieftain," '' Washing- 
ton'sMarch," " Paddy Carey," etc. 



RAMBLE CXIY. 

The Court IVIartial at Fort Constitntion iix ISl-i — Tlae 
IProvidential TVitness. 

Although now beyond our present city line, Newcastle 
was once a part of Portsmouth'; and the fortification on that 
island being for the defence of Portsmouth harbor, still 
attaches it to us. Several references have been made to 
the fortification in previous Rambles — showing that at the 
old Fort William and Mary, since called Constitution, was 
the first scene of seizure of British property by the patri- 
ots at the commencement of the Revolution, — -a circum- 
stance which should give it a place in history scarcely les s 
prominent than Lexington or Bunker Hill. 

Our present object is to record an event which took 
place in the Fort nearly half a century ago, which did not 
appear in the papers of the day, nor has it since until now 
been published. 

In the spring of 1814, when our country was at war with 
England, the 40th regiment of JJ. S. Infantry Avas desig- 
nated as rendezvoused at Boston, but its companies were 



178 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

rarely if ever collected there together, being raised prin- 
cipally for the defence of the eastern seaboard. Col. Joseph 
Levering, jr. of Boston, had command of it, and Perley 
Putnam, of Salem, was Major. In this regiment, one com- 
pany of a hundred men from Newport, R. I., commanded 
by Capt. Bailey of Mass., of which a son of Capt. Bailey 
was Ensign, was detached and ordered to garrison a fort at 
Wiscasset. Their most direct course from Boston was 
through Portsmouth. Soldiers then had none of the pres- 
ent advantages of railroad conveyance, and the marching 
of a company then meant that they went on foot. The 
marching through country roads was done '' at ease," but 
the soldiers were held in such positions that when they 
approached any town or village, they could readily be 
brought into regular sections at a tap of the drum or word 
of command. It was in this way that Capt. Bailey's com- 
l^any was marching M-hen it approached Greenland parade. 
Soon after the word was given to form rank and shoulder 
arras, Ensign Bailey touched with his sword the gun of a 
soldier to remind him that he should change its position 
to shoulder arms, at the same time giving the order. Capt. 
Bailey, hearing the order, stepped to the flank to ascertain 
whether there was any trouble, when instantly a bullet 
from a gun just grazed his side. It appears that the soldier, 
instead of shouldering his gun, had dropped it into a hori- 
zontal position on his left arm, and pulled the trigger. It 
was supposed the shot was intended for the Ensign, but 
the lives of the Captain and many others were equally en- 
dangered. The soldier was immediately arrested, put 
under guard, and brouglit with the company to Portsmouth. 
Fort Constitution being the nea'-est garrison, he was sent 
there to await the charges to be made out against him. 
Capt. Bailey and his company passed over Portsmouth 
ferry and proceeded into Maine. In a few doys the speci- 
fications were made, containiiig the names of the four wit- 



COURT MARTIAL AT FORT CONSTITUTION. 179 

nesses to the act. There was. however, too much of other 
service required for officers to admit of a court martial 
being held for several months, and the prisoner in the 
mean time was kept securely at the fort. 

It was on a pleasant day in that summer that Col. Wal- 
bach, who, it will be recollected, for a long time had com- 
mand of the garrison, was walking Avitb a gentleman around 
the fort, that they came to a room in the arsenal in which 
a squad of soldiers were busily engaged in making musket 
cartridges, in great demand at that time. As they passed 
along. Col. W., in a private way, directed his guest's atten- 
tion to one of the workmen, who seemed to be very active 
and deeply interested in his work. After they had passed 
out of the arsenal and were proceeding outside the fort, 
said Col. W., " did you notice that man who was making 
cartridges twice as fast as any other? 0, I pity him, for 
that man, well as he appears, is soon to he shot! Nothing 
can save him, poor fellow ! He it was who a few months 
since came near shooting two officers in the Newport com- 
pany. I cannot think that he intended murder or mutiny 
with which he stands charged, — but if such doings are 
overlooked, v/hat officer is safe ? It is a pity, but poor 
Haven's fate is sealed. 

In the fall of 181-t, a general court martial was held at 
Fort Constitution for the trial of several cases which had 
accum^iUted within course of the season. Major Crooker, 
of the 9th regiment, was President, and Lieut. Belfour, of 
the Artillery, was Judge Advocate. Capt. Bailey had been 
notified of the time of the trial, and was directed to send 
the four v^itnesses mentioned in the specifications accom- 
panying his charge against the soldier. 

When the witnesses arrived, it was noticed that there 
were five soldiers instead of four — but when the witnesses 
were summoned before the court only the four appeared. 
They testified all alike, that they were near Haven and saw 



180 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

him discharge his gnin wlien it was laying on his arm. The 
prisoner was allowed to interrogate the witnesses: bis 
only question, which was asked to each of them in turn, was, 
"Did you see Ensign Bailey strike me before I fired';" 
They all replied. No. 

Just in this stage of the proceedings the clock struck 
three. In those days, and we know not but at the present 
time, no proceedings in a court martial can be held after tliat 
hour, and so the court adjourned without coming to the 
fatal verdict which, had half an hour's more time been 
allowed, would doubtless have been arrived at. 

On this court martial was the late Hon. Daniel P. Drown, 
of this city, then a Lieutenant in the army. When the court 
came together the next morning, tlie case of Haven came 
up as it was left, with every prospect that the fate antici- 
pated by Col. Walbach would rest upon him. At this stage^ 
Lieut. Drown stated that it appeared that five soldiers had 
been sent here from Wiscasset, instead of the four detailed 
as witnesses. He made inquiry of the President why the 
fifth man had been sent. Maj. Crooker could see no reason 
for making an inquiry on this suliject, as the specifications, 
which were their only guide, made no mention of any one 
beyond the four witnesses. At length, however, it Avas 
decided that the fifth soldier should be brought before the 
court. 

After the preliminary questions as to what regiment and 
company he belonged to, when he enlisted into Capt. Bai- 
ley's company, &c., had been satisfictorily answered, ho 
Avas asked — Were you in the company when this act of 
mutiny on tlie part of Haven took place ? I was. Was 
you near him when he fired? I was. Your name is not 
on the detail of witnesses, how came you to be sent here 
on this trial ? I don't know. All I know of the matter is, 
that when the corporal who had charge of Iho witnesses 
had just left the fort at Wiscasset, he was ordered to halt, 



THE rROVIDEXTIAL WITNESS. 181 

and I was sent for by Capt. Bailey to come into bis quar- 
ters. He asked me if I knew Haven. I told bim I did- — 
liad worked witb bim at tbe sboe business at Dartmouth, 
Mass. Capt. Bailey said no more, but ordered me to be 
supplied Avitb rations, and march with the squad to Fort 
Constitution. Did you expect that you were coming here 
as a witness ? I had no instructions, and do not know for 
what purpose I was ordered here. 

It now appearing to the court that this man might have 
been sent to give what information he might possess of the 
prisoner, he was at once sworn. The witness was then 
directed to state what he knew of the prisoner. 

He had worked a year or so with Haven. Had found 
him a man singular in his habits, — sometimes a very talka- 
tive., and then a very silent man. He was an excellent 
workman, and careful in iulfilling his obligations ; was a 
kind-hearted man, and beloved by all his I'ellow workmen. 
The shoe-shop in which they worked was on the side of the 
road opposite a stone wall. At one time, when in a des- 
ponding state of mind, he suddenly laid down his work on 
his seat, ran across tbe road with great rapidity, and drop- 
ping his head as he approached the wall, he ran against it 
with his full force. It was thought he had killed himself. 
He scarred bis head very badly. The court on examina- 
tion of the pi'isoner's bead found the deep scars. 

After answering a few more questions, the witness was 
dismissed, and the examination closed. 

■ It should he here stated that the prisoner had said to the 
court that he had no hostile feelings against Lieut. Bailey. 
He had no doubt of the truth of the statement of the wit' 
nesses that he discharged tbe gnn, although of the act he 
bad no recollection. 

The Judge-Advocate summed up the evidence whicli 
sWent to sustain the charge of .mutiny. The question was 
put by the President to each member of the court, Is the 



182 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

prisoner guilty of the crime with which lie is charged ? 
Lieut. Drown, being the youngest in commission, was first 
called upon. He replied, No. The other eleven replied, 
No. And the President was well satisfied that the verdict 
was just. 

It was found that, suffering as he was under partial in- 
sanity, he was not a safe man for the army, and the court 
recommended that he be honorably discharged from the 
public service. 

No one rejoiced more than Capt. Bailey, at the happy 
result of sending a witness not in the specification. And fre- 
quently our venerable friend Drown (who was the summer 
guest of Col. Walbach above referred to) congratulated him- 
self with the thought, that if while in the army he never 
killed a man, he was by his position instrumental in saving 
one innocent man from beinsf shot. 



EAMBLE CXV. 

IFort Constitution — The Explosion in 1809. 

In our last Ramble some reference was made to incidents 
occurring at this point of our harbor defence. We take 
this occasion to give a sketch of a disaster which took 
place at this fort in 1809, when the garrison was under 
command of Col. Walbach. The circumstances will be new 
to many of the present generation. 

On the 4th day of July, 1809, there were two public po- 
litical celebrations in Portsmouth. The Federalists marched 
to the Old South Church to listen to an oration from Isaac 
Lyman, Esq., and partook of a dinner at the old Assembly 
House. The Democrats marched to the North Church, 
were addressed by Joseph Bartlett, Esq., and dined at 
Davenport's. 



FORT CONSTITUTION. 183 

There were a few, however, who accepted an invitation 
of Col. Walbach to dine with him at the Fort,— among 
them Dr. L. Spalding, Capt. Jacob Cutter, the officers of 
the Fort, and a few others. The company were enjoying 
the hospitalities of the Colonel in his quarters, and the 
outside visitors were just collecting on the platform on the 
northwest corner of the Fort, where a fiddler just arrived 
had invited them to form a contra-dance. On the northeast 
point of the Fort, two of the 24-pounders had been re- 
moved to make way for a brass 6-pounder from which it 
was intended to fire salutes after dinner. Two ammunition 
chests, containing about 350 pounds of powder, and one 
containing balls, Avere placed on the side of the platform 
near the house where the company were at dinner, and on 
the platform were also seventeen cartridges of two pounds 
each, for the salute. The company had been at the table 
about three-quarters of an hour, when a tremendous e>plo- 
sion took place — the sides and ceiling of the room were 
driven in, the tables upset, and everything on them shiv- 
ered to atoms ! The company were prostrated, and the 
lady of Col. W. came running into the room, bloody from 
slight injuries. None of the company were, however, ma- 
terially injured. They ran out to witness the distressing 
scene of men dead and alive, their clothes burning, and the 
ground covered with fragments of timber and boards, scat- 
tered balls and pieces of iron on every side. The sides and 
wainscot of the house were beaten in ; balls were sent 
through the windows, and five 24-pound balls were carried 
beyond the house. One poor fellow was carried over the 
roof of the house, and the upper half of his body lodged 
on the opposite side near the window of the dining room ; 
the limb of another was driven through a thick door ever 
the dining room, leaving a hole in the door the shape of 
the foot ; parts of the other bodies were carried nearly a 
hundred yards from the fatal spot. Of the killed were 



184 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

three soldiers, one citizen and three boys. Six soldiers 
and several citizens were wounded. The scene was heart- 
rending. Col. Walbach exclaimed, " I have faced death in 
its most dreadful form — I have witnessed the desolations of 
war, and have ming-led in all the hazards and havoc of bat- 
tles, but never before did I feel a pang so terrible and in- 
tolerable as this." 

The persons killed were Ephraim Pickering, Esq., of 
Newington, (a brother of the late Joseph W. P. of this 
city,) James Trefethen and Joseph Mitchell, lads of New- 
castle ; another lad named Paul, belonging to Kittery ; 
Sergeant Joseph Albertz ; privates Peletiah McDaniels and 
Theodore Whitham. 

It appeared that the seventeen small cartridges, which 
were to have been placed in the ammunition chest on the 
rampart, the sergeant thought best to leave for a short time 
in the sun, as he fancied they felt damp. A spark from one 
of the lighted linstocks was probably driven by the wind 
to the exposed cartridges, and was the occasion of the ex- 
plosion. 

We have before us a short rei^ord of the event, made in 
the Fort morning report of the 5th. It appears that there 
were stationed at the Fort at that time, a captain, two 2d 
lieutenants, one surgeon's mate, throe sergeants, four 
corporals, four musicians, six artificers, and fifty-three pri- 
vates — in all seventy-four. 

The body of McDaniel was found near the light-house 
below low water mark. The remains of the three soldiers 
were buried with the honors of war in the same grave on 
the 8th of July. The countersign given out on the 4th 
was '' Dreadful." 

Capt. Davidson, now at the Fort, is the connecting link 
between the days when Col. Walbach was stationed here 
and the present time. Through his gentlemanly attentions 
we are enabled to give such of the above facts .as appear 
.on the records of the Fort. 



THE SPARHAWK FAMILY. 185 

RAMBLE CXVI. 

The Sparlia-vvlc Faixiily. 

In Ramble 92 we gave the Will of the widow of George 
Atkinson, in which most of the bequests were made to 
members of the Sparhawk family. This leads to an inves- 
tigation of the family pedigree, and gives an opportunity 
for a few historical sketches. 

In a bundle of manuscripts of Sir William Pepperell in 
our possession, we find some incidents relating to Nathan- 
iel Sparhawk, who married the only daughter of Sir Wil- 
liam, and settled at Kittery Point, in the vicinity of the old 
Meeting House. 

It appears that the Rev. John Sparhawk, a minister of 
Bristol, in Mass., who died in 1718 at the age of 45, had 
two sons. One of them was the Rev. John Sparhawk of 
Salem, who married Jane Porter, and died in 1755 at the 
age of 43. The other son was Hon. Nathaniel Sparhawk of 
Kittery, who married Elizabeth, the only daughter of Sir 
William Pepperell. 

The children of Rev. John S. of Salem were : 

1. Priscilla, who married Judge Ropes of Salem, and 
died in 1798, [leaving three sons, John, Nathaniel and 
Samuel ; and three daughters — Jane, who married S. C. 
Ward ; Priscilla, who married Jonathan Hodges ; and Abi- 
gail, who married William Orne.] 

2. Susannah, who married George Atkinson of Ports- 
mouth, and died in 1796. [Her Will is given in Ramble 
92.] 

3. Jane, who married John Appleton. 

4. Margaret, who married Isaac Winslow of Boston. 

5. Katy, who married her cousin, Nathaniel Sparhawk, 
Jr., of Kittery. 

6. John, who married Miss King. [Their children were 

13 



186 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Thomas, Samuel, Jolin, and George King Sparliawk. The 
latter spent most of his days in Portsmouth, and died at 
Conway. lie was the father of CoL George S. who died 
at Kittery Point in 1857.] 

The children of Nathaniel Sparhawk of Kittery were: 

1. Nathaniel, whose first wife was his cousin Katy Spar- 
hawk, his second Miss Bartlett, and his third Miss Parker. 

2. Mary, who married Dr. Charles Jarvis of Boston. 

3. Sir William Pepperell, Bt., who married Miss Royall 
of Medford, and died in 181G, aged GO. 

4. Samuel Hirst, who married in England. His daugh- 
ter, Harriet Sparhawk, is now living in this city, his only 
descendant. 

/). Andrew Pepperrell, who married Miss Turner, and 
died in 1783, aged 30. 

Nathaniel Sparhawk was married to Elizabeth Pepperrell, 
June 10th, 17-42. Her father sent to England for her wed- 
ding dress, as follows: — 

' Pascataqua in New England, ] 
October Uth, 1741. \ 
Francis Wilks, Esq. : Sir — Your favors of ye ICth May 
and 21:th June last, I received by Capt. Prince, for. which 
am much obliged to you. Inclosed you have a receipt for 
46 ps. of gold, weighing twenty ozs., which will be deliv- 
ered you, I hope, by Capt. Robert Noble, of ye ship Amer- 
ica, Avhich please to receive and cr. to my account with ; 
and send me by ye fii'st opportunity, for this place or Bos- 
ton, Silh to make a woman a full suit of clothes, the ground 
to be white paduroy and flowered with all sorts of coulers 
suitable for a young woman — another of white watered 
Tabp, and Guld Lace for trimming of it ; twelve 3'ards of 
Green Paduroy ; thirteen yards of Lace, for a woman's 
head dress, 2 inches wide, as can be bought for 13s. per 
yard ; a handsome Fan, with a leather mounting, as good 
as can be bought for about 20 shillings; 2 pair silk shoes, 
and cloggs a size bigger than ye shoe. 

Your servant to command. 

William Pepperrell. 



THE SPARHAWK FAMILY. 187 

If the tale of tradition is true, to tlie beauty of Mary 
Sparhawk, who became the wife of Dr Jarvis, Portsmouth 
is more indebted for its protection in 1775, than to its forts. 
The story goes, that Capt. Mowatt, of the Canceaux, a 
British ship of 16 guns, connected with a large armed ship, 
a schooner and a sloop, were off our harbor in the month 
of October, 1775. Capt. Mowatt went privately on shore 
at Kittery Point, and Avas received at the loyal house of 
Nathaniel Sparhawk. Here he became so much fascinated 
with Mary that the intent of his voyage to destroy Ports- 
mouth, was, by her influence, changed, and he made sail for 
Falmouth (now Portland) and burned more than 400 of the 
best houses and stores — leaving only about 100 of the 
poorest houses, and they much damaged. How much our 
city is indebted to the influence of the beauty of Mary we 
can now hardly estimate. 

After the death of her husband, (Dr. Jarvis of Boston,) 
Mary returned to Kittery Point, where she died in 1815. 
The old mansion of Col. Sparhawk, east of the village 
chUfTch, is preserved in all its primitive beauty. The long 
avenue of noble trees through which it was formerly ap- 
proached have disappeared — but the mansion is yet one 
of the attractive features of the ancient town. 

The following is from the memorandum book of Rev. 
John Sparhawk of Salem, relating to his settlement : 

"Feb. 29th, 1735-6, I preached the first time at Salem, 
by the desire of Committee of the Confederate Society 
of Salem, having been a preacher about the space of one 
year, and by desire of the same committee, engaged for a 
term and continued preaching to my call." 

"Aug. 5th, 1736, I was chosen minister of ye Confederate 
Society by a great majority in the Society. Voted 220 oz. 
of Silver tor my salary, and afterwards, upon my desire in 
ye answer I gave them, they added 100 X Bills of the Prov- 
ince for help." 

"Dec. 8th, 1736. On this day was the ordination. Mr. 



188 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Chipman began with prayers. Mr. Appleton preached, 
Prov. 11: 30. Mr. Holyoke gave the charge, and Mr. Pres- 

cott ye Right liand of Fellowship. The whole service was 
performed with the greatest order and decency." 



RAMBLE CXYII. 

Centennial Celebration, 1S23— Xhe 3?arcliment XJnrollecl. 

The two-hundreth anniversary of the first settlement of 
New Hampshire, at Portsmouth, Avas celebrated here on 
the 21st day of May, 1823. It was a matter of State 
interest, and called together the leading men from many 
distant as well as adjoining towns. Tlie Collections of the 
N. H. Historical Society, vol. G, contains a very full ac- 
count of the whole proceedings, embodying many historical 
facts, collected by our late townsman, Alexander Ladd. 
N. A. Haven, Jr., Esq., was the orator of the day, 0. W. 
B. Peabody of Exeter delivered the poem, and Rev. Bennet 
Tyler of Hanover, and Rev. I. W. Putnam perforriied the 
I'eligious services at the old North Church. 

In the evening a splendid ball was given at Franklin Hall, 
at which nearly four hundred were present, Grandsires 
and grandmothers danced in the same sets with their chil- 
dren and grandchildren — and in the numerous ancient 
portraits, by the best masters which covered the walls on 
every side, the representatives of the past centuries seemed 
to be mingling with their descendants on the joyous 
occasion. 

Most of those present, as well as those who had taken 
an active part in the services of the day, inscribed their 
names and ages on a parchment roll, which was deposited 
in the Portsmouth Atheneum at the time and has there 



THE PARCHMENT UNROLLED. 



189 



remained undisturbed for nearly half a century. As bad 
ink was used for some of the signatures, which already 
begin to grow obscure, we herewith present a copy for 
preservation. It will be read with some interest by those 
now alive who participated in the scenes and festivities of 
that day, and is a matter of history worthy of preservation 
on other accounts. 



Klijflh Fall, 80 years 
)*ennet Tyler 
Timo. Uphani 
< hailcs ri llaclilock 
Natlsan Parker 
Israel W Pnlnam. r,G 
yrederick Clark, 26 
,1 Mason 
Dan'l \Vel)s(er 
.) acob Slieafe, 78 
€Ii-m€iil Slorer. 63 
K(iw'<l ( 'litis S9 
N A Haven Jr. 33 
.taoob Cult r, .Tl 
Cliariea W Culler. 23 
Herjamiii renliallow, 55 
John Haven. 57 
Joseph Story 
Samuel Harlt, 37 
W Jones, Jr . 38 
John F rarrott, 56 
E G Parrott 43 
William Gardner 
George 1-Slake 
Joshua W Peircft. 33 
Jaeoli Wendell, 34 
.r F Shores 31 
Pamuel Larkin. 50 
Is la': Waldron,49 
Nathan Hale 
Alex'r I adil 
Ebeii Went^^orth, 43 
Nath'l B Mareh. 41 
lohaborl Rollins. 33 
Benjamin liri'-rly. 48 
'J hos. T hrierly, 23 
John Ball, 31) 
James Runcllet. .50 
J^nniuel Larkin, Jr. 
Uampdeu Cutis, 20 
.Allied Mason 
Joshua W Larkin 
John O Palfrey 
lluiikins Penhalnw, 57 
T W I'enhnllow. .30 
Oliver W lenhalluw', 2G 
Henry Haven. &o 
William llavin. 53 
] eter Pearse, .5tj 
CliarlesTurell, 36 
1 ohert Rice. 42 
William ( las;:ett. 33 
Lana:ley Board, i. an, 43 
Nidi's (.ilrnan, 23 
Isaac D Parsons. 24 
Cyrus P Sniilh, 22 
Ebcn Smith, Jr. S6 



Wm Berry. U S N, 20 
John Suliivari 22 
J' nalhan Brown, 27 
Oliver Sheafe. 23 
Harrison Gray, 28 
Theodore Shea'c. 27 
Samuel K < ones, 25 
N nh'! A Haven. 60 
Wm P Adams, 38 
Charles ( lushing-. 46 
Joshua U Hall, 29 — 
S.miuel T Gilman, 22 - 
John H Sise, 27 
JnoS Place, 40 
Charles Hardy, 43 
Chas. Cuahlnff, 36 
Charles A Cheever, 29 
Ehen L Childs 24 
William Srallh, 23 
John A Haven 31 
John M Whidden. 21 

^ John H Sheafs, 27 

" Robert Cross, 22 
John Rice. 35 
William Clarl;, 23 
Jno. W Foster. 34 
RichM Russell Wrldron. 20 
JHenry P Salter 21 
Edw'd FSise. L'.'. 
Charles Stavei-. 26 
M W i'eirce. 50 
WMillam Rundlet, 23 
J M Tiedick, 20 
Jierman B 11 an is, 2 3 
Au;; Lord, 25 
Sam'l P Loiif;, 24 
J Woodward Haven 
Airieil W Haven 
Washinstun Haven, 24 
William Hill 
J G .lov. 36 
Daniel Tayloi', 25 
llermon Orne, 20 
Geo Meicher, Jr 25 
Wm. L PickiTin},'. 19 
Goorse Sparh'-iwk. 23 
ietlVey Richaid^oi!, :'o 
George rriard, U .S .S, 20 
Uai^el Spariiawk,20 
Tbomas Curtis, 23 
Jacob Sheafe, Jr. m 
Geo. Humphreys, 39 
L G S Boyd 
Wui Haven, Jr. 
J B Ball 26 
Jos. Maigaund, Mass. 
■\Vm. Stone, 



G Hornev, 29 
Thos. B Caolidee, 21 
Edmund Roberts, 39 
Robert M iMason 
Samuel Cushman, 40 
James Ladd, 41 
M'm H Y ILackett, 23 
H BufTord, 43 
N. Sheafe VValdron 
Wm F Carter 
Chas C Adams 
Charles W Chauncy 
Wm Salter, ]8 
E<lward Rundlet. 17] 
Thomas Sheale. 71 
Sam'l Slieafe. 35 
Enoch iludge, 47 
.loseph Haven. 65 
Ichabod Barlleti, 35 
Levi Bartlett, 39 
James Bartleit, 29 
Maiy Mason 
Giace Webster 
JIary Sheafe 
Dorothy Slorer 
Mary U Cutis 
Eliza W Haven 
31irlam Culler 
Fiances CuUer 
Susan Pen hallow 
Ann Haven 
Sarah Waldo Story 
Mary T UiiiU 
Ann P Jones 
Alarlha B Parrott 
Sarah P Parrott 
Sarah Gardner 
Sarah-Olcotl Blake 
Emily S Peirce 
Alehitable R Wendell 
KlizHbeih Oliver Shores 
Ann J Larkin 
Marv C Waldron 
Sanih P Hale 
Maria T Ladd 
C'atli.irlne H WentnorlU 
isinih H March 
Mary Ann Kollins 
Susan Brierly 
Ann B Brierly 
Jatie S Ball 
Frances Rundlet 
Sarah P Larkin, 
ilarj Culls 
Mary E Mason 
Auno C Larkin 
Mary Ann Palfrey 



190 



RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



Harriet ronhnllow 
Margaretl E S"Ott 
l.ucy E Penhallow 
Sarah Shcafe 
Eliza Lansrlnn Ehvyn 
j^nii II Cusliiiiff 
Dorotliua Gilman 
M Jano Haven, 
Eliza C I'ortcr 
Mary H Sheale, 
Aim Mary Havea, 
Adeline Haven 
Cliarlotto Ann Haven 
Margaret, F Lamb 
Barali P K Rice 
Sarali Simeis 

tliza D.'lia Tuflor Toscan 
Caroline Haven 
Elvira Haven 
Augusta Haven 
Eleiinnr .1 Williams 
Kuth W Oiishtng 
Louisa Sheafe 
Elizabeth P Abbott 
t'harlolie Sheafe' 
¥ .U Jrclinlock 
C G SiovcMR 
barah P Hardy 



Lydia Fernaltl 

Kliza C Melcher 

Goor^'ianna Toscan 

Sarali 13 Biicrley 

Elizabeth Cuthing 

Elizabeth JIarch 

]Marv (' Shapleish 

Emily S Lan.L'dun Elwyn 

Caiolino Jones 

.lane M Andrews 

Mary Jane DuroU 

Mary L Storer 

Lvdia Foster 

C ithariiie M'CIiiitook 

Lydiu n Hale 

iSusaii W Haven 

A '1' Cross 

K vv Shapleiyh 

E W Ihll 

Olivia Ann Prescott 

M E Long 

M Culler 

Kliza Jans Larkin 

Arianna .-mith 

Geo. Douglas Ramsay, USA 

Augusta Willard 

Eliz I I) Di«e 

LucinJa Willard 



Elizabeth Glover 
Saiah J Wenlworlh 
Blary U Applclon 
Mary Sherburne Simcs 
Sarah Ap n Salter 
Sarah S Langdon Haven 
Susan Sheafe 
Ann K >alter 
Saiah E Appleton 
Elizabeth S Durell 
llebeecu J Wentworth 
)< Ilodues 
Caioline Cross 
Emily S I'earse 
V lara L Haven 
Mary Hardy 
Mary P i'jl(nl_'es 
Fiances L I'.rierlo^ 
Ann M Siines 
Anna H Cults 
Margaret Sparhawt 
Susan Spaiha«k 
Mary Oliver Larkia 
Mary a ppleton 
Margarei Foster 
L cy Clapliam 
ilarrict Morris 
busau I'ureoll 



The Jiges of many of the ladies are given on the parch- 
ment, — but as a matter of courtesy to those living we have 
thought best to omit them. One thing however is pretty 
certain, that most of then! are now i'i\l\ /orti/six years of 
age. 

The following interesting account of the distinguished 
persons wliose portraits were exhibited at this Centennial 
Celebration, taken from the Historical Collections, shows 
how rich Portsmouth and its neighlioring towns are in por- 
traits of our distinguished ancestors : 

John Wentworth, son of Samuel Wentworth, and grand- 
son of Elder AVilliam Wentworth. He was a native of 
Portstnouth, and was boi'u Januar}'' IG, 1G71. He Avas a 
counsellor from 1712 to 1717, and lieutenant governor 
from 1717 to liis death, December 12^ 1730. Of his sixteen 
cliildren, fourteen survived him. 

Benning Wentworl 11. son of the preceding, graduated at 
Harvard College in 111^, and afterwards went to Eiiglanc] 
and Spain, where he remained several years. He was 
appointed counsellor in 1731. and was governor from 1741 
to 1767, when he was superseded by his nephew, John 
Wentworth, He died Oct. 14, 1770, in his 75th year. 



PORTRAITS OF DISTINGUISHED ANCESTORS. 191 

John Wentwortb, sou of Governor Wentwortli. 

Lady Frances Wentworth, wife of governor John Went- 
wortb. Now owned by the family of Asa Freeman of 
Dover. 

Theodore Atkinson, son of Hon. Theodore Atkmson of 
New Castle, where he was born Dec. 20, 1697. He gradu- 
ate 1 at Harvard College in 1718 ; was a counsellor in 1734; 
subsequently a judge of the superior court and secretary 
of the province. He died Sept. 22, 1779, aged 82. He is 
painted with a roll in his hand, with the inscription, " Ex- 
penses of Government." - 

Theodore Atkinson, jr. son of the preceding, graduated 
at Harvard College in 1731; ; was a counsellor and secre- 
tary ; died in 17G9. Now owned by the family of Asa Free- 
man of Dover. 

Richard Waldron, son of Capt. Richard Waldron, and 
grandson of Major Richard Waldron, who was killed by tbe 
Indians at Dover in 1689. His mother was Eleanor 
Yaughan, daughter of Maj. William Yaughan. He Avas 
born Feb. 21, 1694. He was a counsellor, and secretary 
of the province to about the time of his death, in 1753. 

Tbomas Westbrooke Waldron, son of tlie preceding, was 
a captain in the expedition against Louisburg — and died 
in 1785. 

George JafiVey, counsellor from 1702, to his death in 
1706. 

George Jatfrey, son of tbe preceding ; appointed a coun- 
sellor in 1716. He was also treasurer of the province ; 
died in 1749. 

George .laffrey, was counsellor in 1766 ; v.'as also treas- 
urer. He died in December 1802, aged 86. 

Benjamin Gambling, judge of probate and counsellor 
from 1734. He was born in 1681 ; married a daughter of 
Siniuel Penhallow ; died 1737. 

Richard V/ibird, son of Richard Y'ibird, of Portsmouth, 
was born July 7, 1702. Ho was appointed collector of 
customs for tbe port of Portsmouth in 1730, and counsellor 
in 1739. He died 1765, aged 63. 

Thomas Wibird, brother of the preceding, was born at 
Portsmouth, Oct 1, 1707. The father of these brothers 
was counsellor from 1716, and died in 1732. 



192 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Col. William Pepperrell, who came from England during 
the reign of William and Mary. He lived many years at 
the Isles of Shoals ; afterwards removed to Kittery Point, 
where he became an eminent merchant. He died Feb. 15, 
1734. 

Sir William Pepperrell, Bart, son of the preceding, was 
born at the Isles of Shoals. He died at Kittery, July 6, 
1759, aged 63. 

There wer^ also portraits of the mother of Sir William 
and two sisters, one of whom was Mrs. Newmarch, wife of 
the Hon, John Newmarch. 

Hon. Henry Sherburne, a counsellor, and chief justice 
of the province from 1735 to 1744:. 

Nathaniel Sparhawk, a counsellor of Massachusetts, a 
colonel of the militia, and an eminent merchant. Col. 
Sparhawk married the only daugliter of Sir William Pep- 
perrell, and died at Kittery in 1770. 

John Mofflitt, a merchant of Portsmouth. Born in 
England in 1692. Died in 1786, aged 94. 

Catharine Cutt Mofiatt, wife of John, grand-daughter of 
President John Cutt. 

Catharine Moffatt, their daughter, married Wm. Whip- 
ple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Mrs. 
W. was living in 1823. 

Rev. John Emerson, minister of New Castle. 1703; of 
Portsmouth, 1715; died June 21, 1732. 

Madam Emerson, wife of the preceding. 

Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, (painted 1623,) son of Rev. John 
Rogers, of Dedham, in England, who died Oct. 18, 1639. 
aged 67. The latter was a grandson of Rev. John Rogers, 
prebendary of St. Paul's, who was burnt at Smithlield, 
1555. Mr. Rogers came to New England in Nov. 1636; 
settled in Ipswich, Mass. 1639 ; died July 2, 1655, aged 57. 

Rev. Samuel Haven, D. D., ordained minister of the 2d 
Church in Portsmouth, May 6, 1752; died March 3, 1806, 
aged 79. 

Madam Montgomery, (painted in Scotland in 1555 ) One 
of her descendants came to New England and settled in 
Portsmouth in 1720. 



THE YELLOW FEVER IN PORTSMOUTH. 193 

KAMBLE CXYIII. 

The Yello\v ITever of irOS. 

Among the dividing points of the eras in Portsmouth his- 
tory^ is "the year of the yellow fever," 1798. We rarely 
pass among the old houses at the north end of Market street, 
without being reminded (not unfrequently by the noxious 
air of the present da}',) of the scenes which there transpired 
about seventy years ago, when the " Yellow Malignant 
Fever" prevailed, finding victims almost every day for 
eight weeks. 

At that time Thomas Sheafe, one of the most respectable 
merchants of the day, father of the late Samuel Sheafe, and 
occupant of the house on the corner of Market and Deer 
streets, was largely engaged in commerce. On the 22d of 
July, 1798, the ship Mentor, belonging to him, of which 
Jolm Flagg was master, arrived in a short passage from 
^Martinique, where the yellow fever had prevailed to a great 
extent. At that time but little regard was paid to such 
quarantine laws as stood on the statute book, and the Men- 
tor came up immediately to the wharf One or two of the 
crew had been sick on the passage, but having- recovered, 
no precautions were taken, as in later days, by cleansing 
the ship. The Mentor was fully laden with sugar, molasses 
and coffee, and discharged at Sheafe's wharf in the rear of the 
store now occupied by Pickering & Tompson. A laborer 
assisting in discharging, was the first victim of that fever, — 
and then another who had worked on board was taken down 
with the like symptoms. The owner of tl'e ship was still 
unwilling to believe that any malignant fever Avas brought 
by the vessel : but soon the [melancholy fact was brought di- 
rectly home to him by the death of two promising sons — 
Thomas at the age of 14, and Horatio at the age of G, and 
an only daughter Sally at the age 17 years. The existence 



194 RAMBLES ABOUT TOKTSMOUTH. 

of tlie malady now Ijecame too manifest. The selectmen 
sent the ship off and had her properly cleansed, — but it was 
too late to stop the pestilence which now began to spread, 
with fearful rapidity in the neighborhood. The north part 
of the town Avas soon depopulated. Ev^ery family that 
could conveniently remove left for other places, and peo- 
ple from the country abstained from visiting the town. A 
strict guard \vas kept to prevent intercourse below the in- 
fected district and other parts of the town. The fever rag- 
ed principally in Green, Russell and the east end of Deer 
streets, and from Rindge's wharf down Market street to the 
house next south of late Thom.is Sheafe's mansion, now 
occupied by Albert A. Payne. At that time the widow of 
Noah Parker kept a boarding house there. The victims in 
this house were her daughter Zerviah, her neice Rebecca 
Noble, and William Plummer, a merchant. Iq the house in 
Russell street, now occupied by Joseph Remick, Mrs. Han- 
nah Noble and two daughters, Eliza autj Mar}', died — none 
could be found to bury them, and the brothers of the girls 
were compelled to bear their sisters and mother to their 
g'rave. There M'ore some cases elsewhere. Dr. William 
Cutter was dangei-ously sick with the fever, on Congress 
street. In two months ending on the 5th of October, when 
the frost terminated the course of the fever, there were 96 
cases, of which 55 proved fatab In the same time there 
were 52 deaths from dysentery and other diseases, making 
over a hundred deaths in two mcmths, and that too at a time 
when our population was only about GOOO. and a large num- 
ber of inhabitants had fled to other towns. 

Eleazer Xlussell, mentioned in the 47th Ramble, died at 
the time of this fever bu. notol'it. He v/as said to be so 
much in fear of the fever of which his sister died, tliat he 
refused to have any one come to his assistance, and died 
alone. 

The sickness was not confined to those who remained in 



THE YELLOW FEVER IN PORTSMOUTH. 195 

Portsmoutli. Moses Little, Esq, who had just married the 
■widow of Humphrey Fernald of this town, to escape the 
danger, with his wife and her only son, John Pernahl, 
a2:ed 20, went to Dover. Mr. L. and son were soon attack- 
ed at the same time and died at Dover. 

Among those who were dangerously attacked but recov- 
ered were Robert Rice, Abel Harris, Nathaniel Folsom^ 
Thorn vs Cutts, and many others with whose names our 
readers are not familiar. 

There fell in that season many who sacrificed their lives 
in devotion to the sick — whose good deeds yet rest in the 
remembrance of our older citizens. 

None or few were seen in the street where the fever 
raged. Nothing was heard there buttlie groans of the sick 
and the awful shrieks of the dying. If yiersons were met, 
they would have handkerchiefs to their faces wet with vin- 
egar or camphor, and passing with hasty steps. There 
were however some noble hearted men and women, who, 
fearless of consequences, stood by the bedsides of the sick 
and dying, to wet their parched lips ; and when the spirit 
was about quitting, some Avere there to smooth the passage 
through the dark valley. The Rev. Dr. Buckminister, Col. 
George Gains who at that time Avas selectman, Mr. Yaughan 
the sexton, were among those Avho were ever faithful in 
their duties. Also Dr. A. R. Cutter, and Dr. Bracket, senior. 
These men stood firm through the whole and never took 
any fever. In consideration of the devoted service of Col. 
Gains, the toAvn made him a present of $100. 

As at the time of the plague in London, no bells were 
heard at funerals ; and when the fever abated, the tolling 
bell Avas hailed as a signal of returning health. People 
Avere hurried to their gravies hastily. No procession atten- 
ded. Soon as tlie breath left the body, and perhaps some- 
times before, it Avas immediately put in a tarred sheet and 
rou2:li box, slid from a chamber windoAv to a cart or drav, 



196 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

conveyed to the north cemetery and deposited in one 
common grave or trench. The grave of no friend was 
afterwards found. Like the burial of Sir John Moore, they 
were^ hurried off '•' at dead of night, by the lantern dimly 
burning." 

Such a pestilence had never before, nor has since visited 
our town, which ranks among the healthiest in the Union. 



RAMBLE CXIX. 

Old Ijand IProprietors — Tli.e nVEarcli IT'arixi-Tlie IFainily. 

The possessions of ancestors seem to be made more 
sacred by the length of time they have been held in a 
family. The path which a parentage of three or four 
generations lias passed over, becomes endeared by the 
associations which are spread along it. This feeling has 
kept no small amount of landed estate around Portsmouth 
in the same families which took the original grants at the 
iirst settlement, more than two centuries ago, or soon after 
purchased the land. Among those families which have 
kept their first localities, are the Odiorne, Pickering, 
Seavey, March, Peirce, Moses, Whidden, Langdon, Dennett, 
Jackson, Drake, Johnson, Berry, Weeks, Haines, Packer, 
Brackett, Pand, and other families which do not occilr to 
us DOW, whose ancestors of the same name, where there 
has been a line of male descendants, located themselves 
two centuries ago on the spot, or in the immediate vicinity 
of where their descendants now reside. Some who had 
located in Portsmouth then, by a change of town lines 
have had their farms transferred to the neighboring towns. 

If it is pleasant to those who thus show their veneration 



OLD LAND PROPRIETOES, 197 

for their ancestors, it is scarcely less so to those who in 
passing along can point to the localities where the labors 
of five or six successive generations have been turning the 
wild forest into a fertile garden, and the original log cabin 
into a palace. There are various localities to which this 
remark might apply, but we shall in tin's Ramble speak more 
particularly of one, which is prominent in the eye of every 
traveller who passes beyond the western bounds of Ports- 
mouth. 

The farm now owned by I. Bartlett Wiggin, Esq., on the 
Winicolt road in Stratliam has never been out of his own 
direct family since it was first granted by the crown. No 
deed has ever been made or given of said farm, but it has 
descended from father to son, by will, to its present owner, 
and he will pass it down, for he has sons; and " that farm 
is not for sale," if for no other reason, because the owner 
does not wish, nor has he a heart or occasion, to disjDose 
of it out of the family. 

On the south side of the road in Greenland, near the 
Portsmouth line, begins the flirm of the March family, of 
two hundred seventy-five acres, now owned by the Hon. 
Clement March, which has been in the family seven gen- 
erations. Its extent on the road is readily defined by the 
handsomest stone wall to be found in New Hampshire. It 
is built of clouded granite, from a quarry in Raymond be- 
longing to Mr. March, the foundation sunk eighteen inches 
below the surface. In front of the house for several 
hundred feet, the wall is made of dimension stone, 
every block beaded. On this wall, and even with the 
ground in front of the house, is an open iron fence. The 
house of Dr. Clement March was burnt on this spot in 
1812. Its place was soon supplied by a large house of 
three stories, which was consumed by fire in 1826. The 
present house was soon after erected on the spot. Large 
additions have been made the present season, under the 



108 RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

direction of a distinguished Newburyport architect, ren- 
dering the mansion, in the extent of its accommodations, 
its spaciousness, its elegant furnishing, its rich ornaments, 
a residence of which any baron might be proud. The 
improvements, however, do not here terminate. In the 
several fires, the large old barn on the east of the house 
escaped conflagration. It was built full a century ago, as 
its oak posts testify. Its place has recently been supplied 
by another of far greater extent, and finished in the best 
style. It is several rods south of the mansion. Another 
group of buildings is also rising up several rods west of 
the barn — in one, stalls with iron hay racks for a dozen 
horses may be seen-^another is the carriage house — and 
the third, resembling the first story of an octagon pagoda, 
is a well ventilated corn house. The air circulates through 
a half inch opening under every clapboard, which is not 
apparent without examination. The grapery is near the 
house. For the use of the mansion and the out buildings, 
water is being brought from a pond neaily half a mile 
distant, and, by the aid of hydraulic rams raised to the 
upper story of the buildings. It is a matter of doubt 
whether the beauty of the scenery from the house, or the 
richness of the treat to those who travel by, is most grat- 
ifying. 

Passing through the curved avenue from the door to the 
iron gate on the west, and crossing the road, we come to 
another iron gate which opens to a wide tesselated path, 
made of the largest sea beach stones, of variegated colors, 
making a good mosaic. The path winds up a slight emi- 
nence, where on the declivity beyond is the family tomb, 
'' Erected by Clement March in 1759, and repaired by 
Charles and Clement March in 1859." In it rest the remains 
of the family for a century. The care which is taken of 
these homes of the departed is another link in the chain 
which holds the affection to the names of our ancestors. 



THE MARCH FARM. 199 

And here we will take occasion to trace the family so long 
located on this farm. 

This farm was first owned and occupied by John Hall. 
The date of his grant we cannot find, but as the road 
through Great Swamp was opened in 16G3, it is probable 
he occupied it about that time. By his will, dated in 1G77, 
in the reign of his ''' most excellent Majesty Charles of 
that name the Second, by the Grace of God, of France, 
Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc., 
we learn that Greenland was regarded as a ^' Township of 
Dover." 

His son Joseph Hall, succeeded him as proprietor. He 
had three daughters. One of them became the Avife of 
Dr. Clement Jackson, and the mother of the celebrated Dr. 
Hall Jackson ; another married Joshua Peirce, and was the 
grandmother of the late distinguished John Peirce of 
Portsmouth ; and another was married to Israel March, who 
came from Massachusetts somewhere between 1690 and 
1700, and by the will of his father-in-law he came into pos- 
session of the farm, which for IGO years has now been in 
the same family name. 

Clement, the son of Israel March, born in 1707, added 
largely to his patrimonial estate, and by purchase from one 
of the original assignees of Mason's Patent became one of 
the largest landed proprietors in the county or State. He 
commanded the Horse Guards under Gov. Benning Went- 
worth ; by whom he was appointed Aid, and also Judge of 
the Court. He possessed great influence in his vicinity, 
and represented the town of Greenland in our General 
Court for twenty years or more. We recodect of hearing 
the late Capt. McClintock speak of being present when 
Col. March, in brief and emphatic phrase, laid down his 
functions as Representative : "Fellow citizens," said he, '' I 
have served you to the best of my a'ulity for many years ; 
I purpose to do so no longer ; you will now bring in your 



200 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

votes for my son-in-law, the Major." The Major was ac- 
cordingly elected. 

His son Clement succeeded to the estate in Greenland.. 
He graduated at Harvard University, and studied medicine 
with Dr. A. R. Cutter, of Portsmouth. He married Miss 
Lucy Dudley Wainwright, a ward of the Hon. George Jaf- 
frey, and niece of his wife — by whom he had six sons : 

Thomas, who died in Brooklyn in 1850, aged 71. Charles, 
who died in New York in 1855, aged 74. Clement, whb 
died in St. Louis in 1830, aged 47. Joseph Wainwright 
who died in Greenland in 1843, aged 58. Francis, who died 
in New York in 1858, aged 71. John Howard, who died 
in Paris in 1863, aged 72. 

Dr. March gave his children a good education. All the 
above brothers were merchants. Joseph W. (the father of 
the present owner) although doing business for some years 
in Portsmouth, remained as the occupant of the homestead, 
while his brothers went abroad in the world, acquired a 
high standing as merchants, and accumulated much wealth. 
The youngest, John Howard, was for over forty years the 
American Consul at Maderia. He was the last deposited 
in the family tomb. 

The extensive, and highly cultivated farm of Col. Joshua 
W. Peirce, adjoining the March farm and extending to Great 
Bay, is made up in part of the paternal property descended 
from his ancestor Hall. The original Hall house was on 
the premises of Col Peirce, near the spot where the sharp 
roofed cottage now stands. 



INCENDIARY SKETCHES. 201 



RAMBLE CXX. 

Incentliai-y Sketclies — Pilsriin Day— Tlie G-reat IFii-e 
of 1813 — Tlxe Incendiai-y. 

Among tlie most fearful pests of society, the most reck- 
less of desperadoes — the most fiendish in human IV rm — 
ma}^ be classed the incendiary. While there is a certainty 
of his presence shining out from conflagrations h^re and 
there, the whole community are in disquietude, each fearing 
that his own neighborhood will be the next visited. 

There is a monomania pervading the incendiar}^ which 
shuts out all ideas of the rights and safety of others. The 
burning building and the excitements of a fire seem the 
subject of the highest gratification. There are others who 
are guilty of incendiarism from motives of malice. 

In December, 1804, the incendiary torcli was app;]ied to 
several buildings in Portsmouth. On the 8th, to a large 
barn belonging to Moses Brewster, at the Plains, consum- 
ing fifteen head of cattle and seventeen tons of hay. On 
the 10th, a barn of Samuel Sherburne at the Plains with 
valuable contents was consumed. Eight days after, another 
of Mr. Sherburne's barns, with fifteen head of cattle, thirty 
tons of hay, etc., were burned. Efforts also were made 
to set fire to a building near Joseph Chase's, between Pitt 
and Buck streets. 

Large rewards were offered, but no disclosure was made. 
Sometime after, an attempt M^as made to fire the larn of 
Mr. Perkins Ayers, who occupied the house now of A. D. 
Gerrish in School street, opposite the School House. The 
incendiary left a tin pot in the barn, which was exhibited 
to the public to find an owner. It was recognized by Mr. 
Oliver Briard, who occupied the house No. 26 Hanover 
street, near the barn. Suspicion rested upon the girl living 
there, named Sukey Nutter. She had hved with Capt. 
14 



202 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Josepli Chase, on Pitt street; and wliilo attending Elder 
Elias Smith's meetings, in which she exhibited a wonderful 
gift in prayer and exhortation, was guilty of bad conduct 
out of meeting, Avhicli Capt. Chase told her ho would 
expose to the brethren. " If you do, I'll burn you up," 
served to keep the Captain quiet, but did not keep her long- 
on his premises. It was also found that she lived at Mr. 
Sherburne's, at the Plains, when the barns were burnt. 

Such strong circumstances led to her arrest; but 
Sukey being a girl of great beauty, her facinating ap- 
pearance saved her from the stern clutches of the law. 
Although one of the investigating committee declared that 
he would never agree to a verdict of acquittal, he gave 
way on condition that she should leave Portsmouth never 
to return. Sukey went ai once to a town in the upper 
part of Strafford County, found a husband in one Charles 
Stewart, (by some called Ham,) who had been arrested for 
firing a barn of Nathaniel Adams in 1805. Of their after 
life we know nothing, but probably they became better 
persons than hanging would have made them. Whether 
the political party bearing the name of " Barnhm'ners,^^ 
descended from them, history does not say. 

The 22d of December is the anniversary of an event of 
much national importance, and is also the anniversary of a 
local calamity of a deeply appalling character. 

This day, in 1G20, our Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth, 
and laid the basis of those institutions which have made 
New England what she now is — the abode of freedom, — 
freedom of conscience, — freedom from political tyranny, — 
and freedom from hereditary titles and power. On the 
rich blessings we enjoy from the stern devotion of our 
honored ancestors, we will leave the reader to meditate, 
for this is not our present purpose. 

On the 22d December, 1813, Portsmouth suffered a ca- 
lamity the effects of which it took many years to hide from 



THE GREAT FIRE IN PORTSMOUTH. 203 

sight. With the " panoramic view of the burning of 
Moscow," most of our readers are familiar. The com- 
mencement of the fire in that panorama, and its gradual 
extension until one half the horizon presented one contin- 
uous flame, gives an idea of a Portsmouth night scene 
in 1813. 

About half past seven, on that evening, flames were seen 
bursting forth from the barn of Mrs. Woodward, on the cor- 
ner of Church and Court streets, where the Stone Church 
now stands. By the brightness of the light the citizens 
were soon collected, but all tiieir exertions were ineffectual 
to subdue the fire, which before eight o'clock, had so spread 
over every part of the house of Hon. Daniel Webster and 
Thomas Haven in Pleasant street, between Court street and 
State street, and to the house of Mrs. Woodward, at the 
corner of State street and Church street, that it was with 
difiiculty any part of the property was preserved. From 
the violence of the wind and flames, immense flakes were 
driven through the air to a great distance, and fell in show- 
ers upon the roofs in the direction of the wind. The next 
building that took fire was Mr. Yeaton's barn at the corner 
of Chapel street and State street, which was distant from 
Mrs. Woodward's barn fifty-six rods, about one-sixth of a 
mile. The fire soon spread from Yeaton's barn, passing- 
over thirteen rods and caught the house occupied by D. 
Humphreys, at the corner of Mulberry and Daniel streets. 
This happened about half past eight. The flames then took 
the shop of Miss Wentworth, the Union Bank and the store 
at the corner of State and Pleasant streets. These were 
scarcely on fire at half past nine o'clock, when the shop of 
Mr. Moses the tailor, at the corner of Penhallow and 
State streets, the house occupied by Mr. Wyatt in State 
street opposite Mr. Moses the tailor, the house of the 
widow Edwards in State street near the corner of Chape) 
street, and several houses on the opposite side of it, and 



204 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the bouse at the corner of Daniel and Chapel streets?, were 
all blazhigupon the roofs. By eleven o'clock almost every 
house in State street and on the south side of Daniel street 
was in flames. The house of Jacob Sheafe, Esn„, in iState 
near Penhaliow street, was now the only building in State 
street, east of where the fire commenced, for the whole 
extent of a quarter of a mile, that was not burning. This 
however was wrapped by a tempest of fire from the sur- 
rounding houses, but was defended to the last extremity by 
the persevering energy of some generous souls — among 
them Commodore Hull and Captain Smith of the Frigate 
Congress, and other officers from the Navy Yard^ who were 
enjoying that evening the hospitality of the Navy Agent, 
and on the top of the house they fought the fire as though 
it were the declared enemy of their country. But the fire 
insidiously entered some inner apartment and tiiis building 
shared in the fate of its neighbors. The destruction of 
the whole town nowseemed inevitable. Despair was upon 
every face, and each individual seemed to feel grateful for 
his personal safety. A few persons entertained some faint 
hopes that the fire-proof stores in Water street, between 
State and Court streets would have been safe themselves, 
and would have served as a barrier against the fire. But 
the heat was so intense that it burnt through the walls, and 
the composition roofs of tar and gravel melted like ice 
before the fury of the burning flakes. 

The fire acknowledged no other barrier than the shores 
of the Piscataqua. It Avas not until five o'clock of the 
morning of the 23d that it ceased its ravages. That morn- 
ing presented in the midst of our city fifteen acres of ruins, 
studded over by hundreds of chimneys, tottering walls and 
charred stumps of fruit and ornamental trees. There had 
disappeared in one short night 108 dwelling houses (occii- 
pied by 130 families,) 61 stores and shops, and 100 barns, 
&c., making in the whole 272 buildings. From west to east 



THE GREAT FIRE IN PORTSMOUTH. 205 

the fire extended one third of a mile, and from north to 
south, the width of the ruins in the widest part was an 
eighth of a mile. 

So rapid was the progress of tlie fire, that nothing was 
saved from cellars. Few people had time to go into their 
upper chambers, and a vast amount of property which h;id 
been removed from houses to what were regarded places 
of safety, was overtaken by the flame and consumed. 

On the dreadful night of the fire numerous and paiiilul 
were the sensations experienced. Many were appreb fad- 
ing the entire los^ of their property, impoverishment of 
their friends, the blasting of their fairest hopes, the de- 
struction of some valuabl6 acquaintance and the ruin of" the 
town. They saw the widow, deprived of her house r.nd 
everything it contained, wringing her hands in agon\', — 
they sav/ the "aged man and bowed down" supporting 
Idimdelf en his staff and crawling to some place of safety, — 
they saw the aged and diseased mother borne in a chair by 
the arms of an affectionate son, — they saw the child ema- 
ciated by a lingering disorder, snatched from the coiK-h of 
maternal tenderness to encounter the piercing -.vind of 
night; and the victim of distraction borne from coif.ne- 
ment to find a refuge from death. The mighty Tearing of 
the wind and flames, the awful crash of the buildings, and 
the shrieks of distress, almost drove some to distraction. 

None however could fail to be struck with the sublimity 
of the prospect as viewed from the tops of the buildings . 
The fire seemed a torrent of desolation, rushing through 
the midst of tlie town, and with humility they saw its 
destructive energies mocking the iiHpotence of man Not 
only this place, but the whole ailiacent country was il.'^ini- 
nated with a crimson splendor. The deep and maj.^iic 
river, aAvfal'y reflected the blazing deluge of niiii, and cui- 
tributed greatly to heighten the grandeur of the scon?. 

The atmosphere was remarkably clear on the night of 



20G RAMBLES ABOUT rORTSMOUTH. 

tlie fire, wlilcli could consequently be seen at an immense 
distance. It was seen at Boston and was supposed to bo 
in Charlestown. In Ipswich and Gloucester, thirty-five 
miles distant, books could be read in the streets. It was 
seen at Providence, about one hundred miles from us in a 
soutliwesterly direction. It tvas seen in a town ten miles 
beyond Windsor in Vermont, about one hundred miles from 
■us in a northwesterly direction, and was supposed to be 
in Windsor. The persons who saw it mounted their horses 
and went to Windsor expecting to be of use to people 
suffering there from fire. It was so light in Berwick, 
fifteen miles from us, they could discern a pin in the 
streets ; and in Dover, ten miles fi'om us, it was so light 
thoy could read. 

A large number of persons arrived from Newburyport in 
season to be useful at the fire, and at three o'clock in the 
morning forty men arrived from Salem, having come forty- 
three miles in six hours, and were in season to afford effi- 
cient aid. Eighty men from Newburyport remained over 
the second night, to complete their work of philanthrophy 
in watching the ruins. 

In those days but few persons had insurance upon prop- 
erty, so that the loss of nearly $300,000 was severely felt 
by our citizens. To a call by the Selectmen for donations, 
tliere was a noble response, not only from neighboring 
towns, but also from some as distant as the city of broth- 
erly love. Philadelphia sent a donation of $13,291, New 
York $4,055, Boston over $20,000, Portland $1,421, Provi- 
dence $2,750, Newburyport $1,858, and from a hundred 
other towns, in the aggregate making up $77,273, or about 
25 per cent, of the whole loss. This sum Avas as equally 
divided as the circumstances would permit. 

For more than forty years the public were left without a 
kowledge of the cause of that desolating fire. It now 
appears that a girl who bore the name of Colbath had been 



THE INCENDIARY. 207 

a domestic at the house of Mrs. Woodward, and had taken 
offence because Mrs W. had taken from her some bottles 
of wine which a gentleman boarder at the house had given 
her. She left the house and procured a place in the kitchen 
of Mr. John Gains, then occupying ihe house where Mayor 
Siraes now resides. She there told her story, and made an 
avowal of revenge — " I'll burn her out." She was remon- 
strated with in vain. With a threat of vengeance upon 
her lips she left Mr. G.'s house early in the evening of the 
22d of December, and in the course of an hour there was 
an alarm — "Woodward's barn is on fire !" She never again 
returned to Mr. G.'s but sent a messenger for her clothes 
the next day. The fear of experiencing a like revengeful, 
fiendish act, led the family to keep the matter to them- 
selves,— and it was not until her death, many years after, 
that the facts were made known. This Colbath led a dis- 
solute life, and become an inmate of our almshouse. 

It is our intent in a number of Rambles, to reconstruct, 
as well as the materials will permit, that portion of Ports- 
mouth as it was before that fire, and introduce to the stage 
of life some of the men who miglit have been seen in that 
part of our city half a century ago. 



RAMBLE CXXI. 

Central Portsinoxxtli previous to tlie G-reat U^ire— IPorts- 
naoutla IPier— IS"ew-I3[aiTi.p»laire Hotol — .Jacob Slieafe's— 
D.iniel "W^ebster-'s — ISToi'tli side of J3\icli St. - T'lie 
liauiited. House. 

BEroRE the conflagration of 1813, the principal business 
mart of Portsmouth was State (then Buck) street. At its 
eastern termination w^as the Portsmouth Pier ; near it was 



208 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the Now Hampshire Hotel; iu this street the Post OfEce 
was Located for many years, and also the Custom House. 
Here too was the public grammar school of the town. The 
street was very narrow and irregular, not averaging much 
more than half its present ^^'idth of sixty feet. Between 
Wasliington and Atkinson streets it was only about twenty 
five feet wide — comparing well with Hunking street of the 
present day. On the north side of the street, outside of 
the side-walk, in front of the Episcopal chapel, c ui now be 
seen the stone covering of a Avell. This well was in the 
front yard of Abraham Isaac's house before the fire. 
Measuring the same distance from the opposite side of the 
street so as to reduce the v;;dth just one-half, Avill give an 
idea of State street before the fire. 

This street was the first to be furnished with paved side- 
walks, and here was the place of promenade of the elite of 
the town. There were continual arrivals at the Pier, of 
ships, brigs and schooners ; and through this street there 
were more goods transported than through any other in 
Portsmouth. Then the commerce of our merchants was 
extended to Europe, South America and the East and West 
Indies. We find that in 1800, no less than twenty-eight 
ships, forty-seven brigs, ten schooners and one bark were 
enplo,yedon foreign voyages, belonging to Portsmouth. 
Seventeen of these vessels were built here in the year 
1800. Twenty coasting vessels were also employed. 

The Portsmouth fier in those da3^s was a corporation of 
some magnitude. The company was chartered in 1795. 
They constructyd the Pier or wharf which still bears the 
namo, 340 feet in length 'ind averaging sixty feet in breadth. 
On the south side of it they built an edifice which 
was not at that day equalled by anything in New England, 
not excepting the warehouses of Boston of that day. It 
was lliree hundred and twenty feet in length and thirty feet 
iu bri-.adth — three stories higli. It was divided into four- 



PORTSMOUTH PIER. 209 

teen stoii.s. On the north side of the Pier was another 
building of the same height, divided into two stores. The 
site of the latter is now occupied bj Mr. Hall Yarrell's 
coopery. 

The occupants of the large Pier building were, first on 
the east end, Thomas Manning, then Daniel Huntress, 
Aaron Lukeman, John McClintock, Elisha Lowe, James 
Shaplev, Theodore Chase, Clement Storer, Clement Jack- 
son, Martin Parry, Elijah Hall, George Long and William 
and Joseph Chase. In the third story was Joseph Walker's 
sail loft. Benjamin Holmes and others occupied the other 
Pier building for counting rooms and storage. 

These stores at the time of the fire were full of merchan- 
dise — such as liquors, molasses, sugar, salt, coffee, and one 
store was filled with yellow ochre, much used for painting 
in those !:;a}-s. 

On the west of the Pior edifice and nearly adjoin-ng it, 
on the north coimer of Water street, was the heio Ham])- 
shire L'.'fd, a large brick building, where ship masters, 
mates and the public generally, found accommodations. In 
this hotel the celebrated ventriloquist Potter, whose fame 
was woil.I-wide in his day, was in his early life a servant. 
This hotel as well as the site of the Pier wharf, was for- 
merly the property of the Sherburne family — Capt. Benja- 
min Sherburne occupied the hotel about seventy years 
ago, and it was disposed of by him to the Pier Company. 
The last landlord of the hotel was Mr. Geddis. 

Water street before the fire varied in width from twenty- 
two to tiiirty feet. Daniel street, from Penhallow street 
east, was about thirty-five feet wide. There was a front 
yard to the mansion of Ehjah Hall — and the building oppo- 
site sot out five feet into the present street line. 

State street being so narrow, and very compactly filled 
with wj'^den buildings, the fire extended through it with 
irresistible fury. The flames from both sides of the street 



210 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

uniting in a grand Tnit terrific arcli over the centre. How 
powerless then was the feeble force of the only three small 
engines owned by the town ; and how hard to collect a 
company at any point, when almost every one thought his 
own premises in danger. On, on it swept, and its vora- 
cious appetite not only took in all of the edifices that 
Avere combustible, but much of smaller matters that had 
been treasured up as invaluable. Prized heirlooms were 
burned to ashes ; valued paintings gave their oil and color- 
ing to feed the flames ; treasured manuscripts, souvenirs, 
books, jewels, all disappeared ; and those carefully hidden 
bank notes, or coins, laid up in some hidden crevice for a 
rainy day, it is vain to seek for among the ruins. 

The Hon. Daniel V/ebster lived in a house on the corner 
of Court and Pleasant streets. It was built by Oliver 
Whipple, about the time and in the same style of the house 
of the late John Iv. Pickering. Mr. Webster was enjoying 
the festivities of an entertaintnent at Jacob Sheafe's, whose 
house was on State street, near the east corner of Penhab 
low street. The house was largo, of two stories, with 
gambrel roof; the capacious yard on the east paved with 
flat stones. When the cry of fire was raised, Mr. Slieafe 
turned out a fresh supply of his wine, and with " we will 
take a parting glass, Mr. Webster," the action was suited 
to the word ; and Mr. W. went home to see his house 
already on fire. Not nrach time intervened before Mr. 
Sheafe found his own house surrounded by burning build- 
ings. The efforts of his company, aided by recruits from 
the Navy Yard, for some time kept his premises a dark 
spot amid the flames. The next morning, in writing to a 
friend in Boston an account of the fire, with characteristic 
brevity he said, '' I have lost about $50,000 and my faithful 
dog Trim." Notwithstanding his great loss, he headed a 
subscription for the sufferers by a liberal sum. 

It is worthy of note, that no lives were recorded as lost 



KORTH SIDE OF BUCK STREET. 211 

of more value than Trim's. By a remarkable providence, 
no person suffered severe personal injury except our late 
fellow citizen John Smitb, who exhibited in his walk ever 
afterwards the evidence of the breaking of one of his 
limbs on that occasion. 

As in opening- the ruins of Herculaneum, not only the 
remains of edifices but also the Httle details of the furhi-' 
ture discovered are regarded with interest, so may some 
of the details of life, which a half a century ago would 
have passed as scarcely worthy of comment, now be 
brought out as characteristics or marks of a former age. 

We have already spoken of the extent of the ravages of 
the great fire of 1813, and described some of the buildings 
destroyed. We will now begin at the river on the north 
side of State street. Before the Pier wharf was built, more 
than sixty years ago, the cap-sill of Sherburne's wharf on 
that site was nearly on a line with the east end of where 
Mr. Kail Varrel's cooper's shop now stands. Within a few 
feet of the wharf was a carved statue of a man, with ex- 
tended arm, and from his forefinger a stream of water was 
continually issuing. This was a fcinciftll vent of the Ports- 
mouth Aqueduct, which had recently brought the water 
from a fountain two and a half miles distant. 

On the northwesterly side of the street, there was a two 
story store extending from the river to a narrow passage^ 
way for teams to Langdon's wharf The easterly end was 
occupied sixty years ago by Capt. Elisha Lowe as a grocer}^ 
store, and the westerly end was improved for the storage 
of heavy imported goods. 

Next wer>t of tlie passageway stood a two story store 
with the end to tlio street, which at one time was occupied 
by Abel Harris, for cleaning flax seed, of Vvliichhe shipped 
several cargoes to Europe. It was afterwards occupied as 
a wholesale crockery ware store by Zebulon Robinson. 

West of this store was a small two-story house occupied 



212 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

as a dwelling by Mr. John D. Seaward. In tlie westerly 
end of this house he worked at shoemaking. 

The next was a long one-story building which served Mr 
Sam'l Sherive for a painter's and glazier's shop and dwelling 
house for his family, consisting of himself, wife and twenty- 
two children which she bore him, only a part of whom 
survived their parents. One of the daughters (Phebe) was 
married to •' Stephen Delande, who makes sugar candy," 
by Avliich cognomen, being a confectioner, he usually intro" 
duced himself and his business to strangers. Mr. Sherive's 
house was bounded westerly by a narrow passage way, 
directly opposite Water street, leading to a small dwelling 
house of Mr. Joseph Stoodley. The intervening lots from 
the passage way leading to Langdon's wharf were after- 
wards built upon by Nathaniel W. Fernald, William Yarrcll 
and others. 

On the lot next to the passageway leading to Mr. Stood- 
ley's house, Mr. George Nutter, house carpenter, erected a 
two-storv double dwellins; house, in the northeasterly 
corner of which he sold groceries, t^'c. 

Next, on the spot where Christian Johnson now resides, 
was a large double two-story dwelling house, occupied for 
some years by John Samuel Sherburne, attorney at law, 
who subsequently held the offices of District Attorney and 
Judge of the District Court, This house, after Judge 
Sherburne vacated it for his residence next west of the 
Court house, was deemed by the superstitious to be haunted 
by evil spirits and the rendezvous of witches and Avizzai-ds 
who were supposed occasionally to infest the town and 
dwelling houses which happened to be vacant. The super- 
stitious were therefore very careful about passing such 
houses by night, espeL-inily in dark and stormy weather, 
when, as many believed in those days, the witches would 
sally out from the house and if successful in casling a 
horse's bridle over the hi a I of any perso-i passing by 



THE HAUNTED HOUSE. 213 

would immediately transform the victim, into a horse, and 
after having him shod with iron shoes, would ride the 
animal till it became tired, and just before da^dight would 
turn it loose in the street. The persons thus afflicted would 
the next day find prints of the horse nails on their hands 
and on their feet, and marks of the bridle bits on the sides 
of their mouths. Such was the story told and believed by 
the superstitious, by which relations many children, as well 
as some of riper years, were greatly frightened. Strange 
noises in the night time Avould be heard in this house, and 
so many voices intermingling on stormy nights as to re- 
semble move the abode of demons than those -ofTitrraau 
beings. On such occasions, it was said, li_glits would be 
seen passing quickly from chamber to chamber, while the 
witches and evil spirits were carousing belovv^. These 
scenes generally were represented as taking place in the 
latter part of the night. 

With such superstitious belief, a story obtained credit, of 
a man who had been absent from his home one night till 
nearly daylight the next morning, occasioning his family 
great anxiety and distress. He had been spending the 
evening with one of his neighbors, and as the family sup- 
posed had gone directly home on leaving their house. It 
was a stormy night. On his return to his home next 
morning he thus accounted for his absence. He said the 
moment he had bid his neighbor good night at his door, he 
saw a woman walking before him with a lighted lantern at 
her side He had nearly overtaken her, wdien she disap- 
peared, but the light still moved on before him and he was 
powerless to turn from it, and before morning was led by 
it into an aldor swamp near the Pound, worried and greatly 
fatigued. It at last occurred to him that the woman who 
had preceded him with the light was a witch, and that if he 
could turn any one of his garments he had on inside out, 
he would get rid of her influence. So after great exertion 



214 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

he succeeded in getting hisccat oflf/and, turning the sleeves, 
put it on again, when the h'ght immediately disappeared and 
he succeeded in getting out of the swamp into South road, 
near the place where Dow was executed, and so found his 
way liome. 

The impressions which the story made upon the minds of 
the superstitious were of course confirmatory of their belief 
in witchcraft. Others, however, who were in the secret 
that the hewltcJied man had spent most of the night in a 
gambling establishment, had as strong belief in evil spirits, 
but in a different mode of maniiestation. 

The premises of the Judge however, were entirely ex- 
empt from the annoyances of those evil spirits when it 
afterward became occupied by the intrepid Captain Thomas 
Bell Stevens, if not before that time, as also from the 
trouble occupants were subjected to by the frequent spirit 
knocking at the frontdoor by night, which unseen hands 
occasioned by Rieans of a line attached to the heavy knocker 
on the door and passing over the house to Daniel street— 
the weaker portion of the line being attached to the knocker 
would break upon a sudden jerk, when there was danger 
of detection, and so elude discovery. 

Such freaks of the boys of that day gave a name to '' The 
Haunted House/^ whicli was retained long after all the 
natural causes of the light and noises were satisfactorily 
developed, and until it was swept away in the conflagration. 



E AMBLE CXXII. 



Central Portsnaoiatli. "before tlie G-reat inire. — HSTicliola s 
Rousselet — The IVlusevina — Sailor ^neuclote, <Scc. 

The last number Avas a ramble on the north side of State 
sti-eet from the water to where the Sherburne house stood 
half a century ago. 



CENTRAL PORTSMOUTH BEFORE THE GREAT FIRE. 215 

Next Avest of the ^'liaiinted lionse " was a tavern and 
seamen's boarding house, kept by Benjamin Chandler. It 
was an old affair, of two stories, with an ell fronting on the 
street, the main body of the house setting some hiteen feet 
back. A mill stone with a hole in the centre, Avas used for 
a door step. 

On the southeast corner of Mulberry and State streets 
was a small two-story building occupied by Joseph Jackson. 

Next west, on the opposite corner of Mulberry street, 
was a large two-story dwelling facing on State street, with 
a store adjoining extending on Mulberiy street. Sixty 
years ago they were the property of Nicholas Rousselet, 
who came to this town from Deraeraraas early as 1787, and 
married Catharine Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel MotFatt, 
and sister of the wife of the late Dr. N. A. Haven. Mr. 
Rousselet was a merchant, arjd a gentlemen of some taste 
for the curiosities of nature and art. He changed the 
name of Mulberry lane, to Demerara street, and over the 
store he built on that street, he commenced the Portsmouth 
Maseum, where he displayed all the curiosities he could 
gather. 

We have seen a schedule of the leading articles, drawn 
up by him in January, 1800. Among them were two en- 
gravings of Winter scenery, two of Parker's dog Bank, 
two of Lord Howe, two of Cleopatra, two of the King and 
Queen of France, engravings of an attack by a Shark, 
group of Dogs, six Landscapes, a full sized Lady, the 
Graces, the Distress, and painted Flowers. The expense 
of these imported from London was $200. He also names 
a pair of Crystal Chandeliers, which cost $G0, and a ''Ma- 
hogany Lady's Cabinet," which cost $160. Whether it had 
been the property of some West India mahogany lady, the 
schedule says not. This valuable Cabinet, we note in 
another place, Avas afterwards transferred to his brother-in- 
law, Dr. Haven. A picture of Mr. llousselet, and another 



216 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

representing his being cast away. Six representations of 
Game. There was a collection of the skins of Snakes and 
Reptiles, and a variety of animals. A desk with seven 
drawers contained insects of great variety. A Crucifix of 
Ambergris. A Sword with agate handle. A trunk of cu- 
rious female apparel. A Spy-glass, and an Object glass with 
Pictures. Among the books in the Museum were 52 vols. 
on Natural History, with illuminated engravings, and about 
one hundred other volumes. 

Nothing was added to the Museum after the |iroprietor 
left for Demerara in July, 1800, where he soon after died. 
He had a daughter, Lucy A. Rousselet, who accompanied 
him, was married there, but did not survive her father ten 
years. The property here then came into the possession 
of Dr. N. A. Haven. 

The following document shows that his lady's cabinet 
was not neglected in preparing a Museum for the public 
eye: 

Ikvbntort of Jewelry in hair trunk, taken April 15, IVn!*, aftrs the decbasb op 

MY WIFE. WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF SIllS. OdIORNE, OF K.1TTERY, KEK SIBXEE : 

A gold Waloh With a golil chain and a gold seal ; 

A VVhistlo. small etui, and 5 othi^r small trinkets; 

A gold Watch, set in diamonds, on the back a lady holding her head wiiL hir left arm; 

2 red trinkets, set in gold; 

A gold Ring, represe'iting a lady under a tree, with her dog 8lee;jing ; 

1 wilh two diamonds and coruline figure ; 

1 with small diamonds; 1 with coroliues; 

5 plain gold Uinga; 

A sm.all Hox with my picture and gold chain ; 

A SnuffBox with silver plate raarlied C. E. R., containing a gold Iipc^, lace and gold 
locket; 

A Snuff-Box as slipper, containing a gold neoklacoas a chain wilh goli lock— weight 
') tiz. ; 

A pair gold bracelets, with ivory representations; 

A silver snull-liox, marked C. E. It., containing a pair gold bracelet? as huckles, with 
black velvet strings; 

A gold Breastpin representing Minerva and ship at sea; 

1 ditto ri'prf senting a woman and her dog ; 

A Siiuft" 'iox of turtle-shed, containing a pair of sleeve buttons and a p.iir .;old earrings ; 

A Suutf-Box and glass motto, " Look within," containing a gold uecklaoj. with mother- 
of-pearl circles; 

A small Box and motto, containing a gold necklace for a child ; 

A gold Tuuibler in a green case ; 

A turtle shrtll Ktui, with silver knife, scissors, penknife, and a silver smeiling bottle rep- 
resenting a pear ; 

John Haven was tenant in this house for se\ ei' il years, 
up to June, 1800, when he removed to his new house, built 
by hira on Islington street, now occupied by George W. 
Haven. 



SAILOR ANECDOTE. 217 

The store connected with the house on Mulberry street 
under the Museum, was at one time occupied as a piece 
goods store by Mr. Timothy "Winn, the third, from Woburn, 
Mass., who was esteemed a very estimable citizen, but by 
some persons called " Three-penny Winn," because the 
inscription on his sign was " Timothy Winn, 3d." He 
however enjoyed the joke, and would not alter the sign. 

The last occupant of this building was another French- 
man named Leonard Serat, a tailor. He used it for a shop 
and residence. Over his door was an oval sign represent- 
ing two sailors displaying clothes, with a ship between 
them. There was a projecting sign with his name and 
business — on one side '^ Taylor,^^ on the other '' TailorP 
When asked his motive, he replied — '' If I have not spelt it 
right on one side, it certainly will be on the other." He 
used to say he could spell his name with one letter. He 
might be seen explaining it, by placing a rat on the side- 
walk, and making a C before it. He would say — ''Dere is 
de C and dere is de rat — and if dat don't spell Serat, what 
does it spell ?" Although the fire cleared away the prop^ 
erty and his signs, as well as the weather-beaten "Museum" 
sign, yet the old gentleman still lives in Melrose, Mass., 
works at his trade, and takes snuff as bountifully as he did 
fifty years ago. 

There is one little story illustrative of sailor character, 
which occurred in this neighborhood. A sailor once called 
on a female friend in the tailor's shop of Mr. Nathaniel Fer- 
nald on the east, and chanced to break the eye of a needle. 
He made inquiry where he could have it mended, and was 
pointed over the way to the blacksmith shop of a wag 
named George Plaisted, who was asked if he could do the 
job. Plaisted looked at it, jDronounced it rather difficult, 
but thought it might be done for ten cents. So he sent 
George Beck to the next shop for a cent's worth of needles, 
blued the eye of one of them over the lire, rubbed it, and 
15 



218 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

handed it over to the tar. He examined it, said it could 
not have been done better in England, paid the price and 
half a pint of rum for his skill, and restored the needle to its 
owner. The little story has been so often told, we think it 
has enough of interest now to have a locality. 



RAMBLE CXXIII. 

Central Fortsxtiontla before the Great Fire — IN'iclio- 
las U,oiisselet's Courtship — The eccentric Josiali 
Shackford, — Hi^ XJnparallelecl Feat of crossing the 
-A-tlantic alone— The founder of IPortsmouth, Ohio. 

In the expiring light of the old Museum the reader was 
left in our last. Let us stir the embers a little to throw 
some light on a small romantic incident in the life of its old 
proprietor. 

Nicholas Rousselet was a man of good exterior, and when 
dressed in the official consular costume which he wore on 
public days, was a man to attract attention. Of his first 
acquaintance with Miss Moffatt, we have no account, but 
tradition gives the story, that it was at the Episcopal 
Church, in service hours, that the most importnnt crisis in 
their courtship transpired. Sitting with her in her father's 
pew, Mr. Rousselet handed Miss Catharine the Bible in 
which he pencilled, in the first verse of the second epistle 
of John, " Unto ike elect lady^^ — and the 5th verse entire — 
'^And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a 
new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from 
the beginning, that we love one another." Miss Catharine, 
fully comprehending the appeal, turned down a leaf in the 
first chapter of Ruth, beginning in verse 16th — '^Whither 
thou goest, I will go ; and where thou lodgesti will lodge ; 



NICHOLAS ROUSSELET'S COURTSHIP. 219 

thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. 
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried : 
the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death 
part thee and me." 

The Bible with folded leaf was returned to him ; and 
after the appeal was thus silently and favorably answered, 
the happy man doubtless " kissed the book." 

After marriage, they became occupants of the Atkinson 
mansion recently taken down on Court street, the residence 
where Gov. John Wentworth wedded the widow Lady 
Frances, in ten days after her husband's death. The 
strange sounds which, it is said, troubled Mr. R. while resid- 
ing, there must rather be attributed to the superstition of 
the times, than to the return of any restless spirit. 

While in the vicinity of the old Museum, we will pass to 
another two-story residence, of some historical interest. 

Opposite Mulberry street on the south side of State 
street, stood the mansion house of Madame Eleanor Shack- 
ford, built by her father Nathaniel Men dam, probably as 
early as 1700. She was twice married, and although she 
lived to the advanced age of 91 years, she died in the same 
room in which she was born, and never lived in any other 
house. By her first husband, named Marshall, she had four 
daughters — one of them was grandmother to the late Col. 
John N. Sherburne. Her youngest daughter, Deborah, 
never left her. They kept negro slaves, as was the custom 
in those days. The names of the three Avere Adam, Marcer 
and Bess. Adam lived to be very old, and one day while 
left alone he fell in the fire and was burnt to death. 

After Mr. Marshall's death, the widow married Josiah 
Shackford. He had one son then absent at sea, Capt. 
Josiah Shackford, Jr. When he returned home, he sought 
the residence of his father. He met Deborah at the door. 
As soon as he saw her he fell desperately in love, and de - 
termined in his mind to make her his wife : but on making 



220 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

a declaration, she refused him, saying she had no heart to 
bestow, as hers was engaged to another. He however 
persisted in his suit, declaring she was the one who was 
raised up before him by an astrologer in Europe, and he 
should marry her or nobody. She being naturally of an 
amiable and condescending disposition, like a dutiful child 
took her parents' advice and married him. After they had 
been married several years he wanted her to remove with 
him to New York, as that was the port he always sailed 
from and returned to, but she refused to leave her aged 
mother. 

Without making known to her his intentions, he left 
his wife and Portsmouth, and was many years absent, 
making no communications to his connections here, 

In the '' Essex Journal and New Hampshire Packet " of 
May 2, 1787, we find the following announcement, related 
by a gentleman at New York, '' from such authority as puts 
the truth of it quite out of dispute :" 

''A Mr. Shackford, sometime since, froqa Piscataqna, 
having the misfortune of discontent with his wife, left that 
place for Surinam. On his arrival there, he left the vessel 
he first sailed in, and took the command of one for Europe. 
He performed his voyage and gave such satisfaction to his 
owners, that they gave him a cutter-built sloop of about 15 
• tons. With her he returned to Surinam alqne, after a pas- 
sage of 35 days. When he arrived, the novelty of the expe- 
dition excited unusual surprise, so far as to induce the 
government to take notice of the fact. Suspicions pre- 
vailed of his having dealt unfairly by the people who w^ere 
supposed to have come out with him. But he produced 
his papers and journal, and proved his integrity so fl\r to 
the satisfaction of his examiners, that they permitted him 
to take another man on board and proceed to St. Barthol- 
omews, where he arrived in safety, and now follows the 
coasting business from that Island." 

We have understood that the place in Europe which he 
left was Bordeaux, in France. The vessel appears to have 
been a personal gift to him. He engaged a man to accom- 



THE ECCENTEIC JOSIAH SHACKFORD. 221 

man to accompany him, who becoming fearful when he put 
to sea, jumped on board the pilot's boat, and left Capt. 
^hackford with no other companion than his dog. He was 
a man of too stern materials to turn about, so he undertook 
the voyage of three thousand miles alone. What a resolute 
spirit ! See him on the boisterous mid-ocean alone in his 
little bark a thousand miles from any land — without a 
human being to consult when awake, or to aid in keeping 
watch while ho slept ; v/ithout a hand to aid when the 
storm beat about him, and his little boat is hid between the 
mountain swells ! With an eye on the compass, a hand on 
the helm, and a firm trust in Providence, on he goes for five 
long weeks, witnessing the moon pass into its full, its sev- 
eral quarters, and fuHing again before he came in sight of 
the laud for which he was steering ' 

This unparalleled feat he sue Cl--- fully accomplished — the 
statement of which, however, was not readily believed hy 
the South Americans. To prove his statement, he was 
required to take his vessel down the harbor of Surinam 
alone, and bring it in again. This exhibition was so satisfac- 
torily made, that his story received credit, but the govern- 
ment was not fully satisfied until a return was made from 
Europe confirming his statement. 

Some years after, he returned to Portsmouth, put up at a 
hotel, and in the afternoon called on his wife, took tea witli 
her, in the evening returned to his hotel, and the next 
morning left again never to return. 

He was next heard of in Ohio, where he purchased a 
large tract of land when that State was almost a wilderness, 
laid out a township, and in commemoration of the place of his 
birth called it foi'tsmou!- . He erected mills and store?, and 
built several houses. He li^-ed alone, excepting a boy, and 
never would suffer a w :nan to enter his house, having his 
washing and sewing sent out and brought home by his boy. 
His wife, after her mother's death, oflered to go and live 



222 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

with him. She wrote him several letters, but received no 
answer. He wrote to his nephews in Portsmouth, and said 
if one would come out and settle there, he would make him 
his heir. The late Samuel Shackford, about forty years 
ago, went and visited his uncle, but returned, not liking 
well enough to remove there. At his death he left his 
property to strangers. 

He died about forty years since, over 80 years old, living 
to see his town, so beautifully situated at the junction of 
the Scioto and Ohio rivers, become a place of note and the 
chief county town. He was a studious man, intelHgent, 
but of an eccentricity which to some minds bore marks of 
insanity — but those who recollect him in Ohio will not allow 
that he was any other than a sane man. He was probably 
convinced that astrologers' sayings should never have an 
influence in the selection of a wife ; and his wife doubtless 
was satisfied that the heart which was held by another 
should not be bartered, even by parental influence. 

Mrs. Shackford still lived in the old mansion which her 
father bequeathed to her and to a grandson, Thomas Jack- 
son, until the fire of 1813, which consumed it, and drove 
them to another habitation. 

Mr. Jackson had been several years an instructor of 
youth in Portsmouth, and was then teaching at tlie South 
School. He conveyed as many things as he could to the 
school house ; they were saved, but the rest were burnt or 
stolen. The next day he took possession of the old Chaun- 
cey house on the South road. No one lived in it but 
an old man named John Shores, who had been put there 
to take care of it. Ho told thrilling tales of the house 
being haunted, and said there was a closet in the cellar 
where a minister had laid a spirit twenty years ago, and it 
had never been opened since. Mr. J. and Capt. John S. 
Davis had the curiosity to open it. Found two barrels, one 
containing beef and the other pork, in a good state of pros- 



CENTRAL PORTSMOUTH BEFORE THE GREAT FIRE. 223 

ervation. Three or four dead rats were all that indicated 
any appearance of evil spirits having visited the closet. 
Mr. Jackson and family lived there unmolested two years, 
when he built a brick house on his land in State street, and 
moved back on the old spot again. Mrs. Shackford sold 
her lot to Capt. Andrew W. Bell, as it joined his property, 
which is now owned and occupied by Mr. George Hender- 
son. She lived to a good old age, beloved by all who knew 
her, and would without doubt, like her mother, have 
breathed her last in the house where she was born, had 
not the devouring: element laid it in ashes. 



RAMBLE CXXIV. 

Central IPortsixLouth. before the If^ire of 1813. — IS'ortb. 
side of Biaclc street. 

On the north side of State street we have progressed 
from the river to Mulberry street, and we will continue our 
route west. Next to Rousselet's premises came the bake- 
house of Silas Hunt, at the time of the fire occupied by 
Robert Yeaton. This location still remains a bakery, 
owned by George W. Plumer. Next was the dwelling 
house and grocery of Nathaniel Marshall, owned at the 
time of the fire by Robert Eaton. 

The next was a two-story gambrel-roofed house owned by 
Major Seth Tripe, the great-grandfather of Mr. Seth W. 
Tripe of Portsmouth. This house stood on the corner of 
Chapel and State streets, fronting on the latter, with a shop 
in the western end. This shop at one time was occupied 
by the widow Shores, the mother of James F,, and at 
another by George Dame as a music store. On the arrival 
of Major Tripe's son Samuel with his family from Bristol, 



224 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

England, lie vacated the house and moved into Deer street, 
where he resided till his death, leaving his house in State 
street in the occupancy of his son. 

On the opposite corner of Chapel street was a two-story 
gambrel-roofed dwelling house in the form of a T, fronting 
on State street, the easterly end of which was owned and 
occupied by €apt. Gregory, the grandfather of Mr. Albert 
Gregory. The western end was owned by Major William 
Gardner, and occupied by Mark Chadbourne, hatter, Ben- 
jamin Drowne, gold and silver smith, Joseph Clark, gold 
and silver smith, George Ham, watchmaker, Joseph Aker- 
man, Jr., collector of taxes, and others at different periods. 

After the decease of Capt. Gregory, his widow was 
distinguishc'd as an instructor of small children. With the 
aid of her two daughters she furnished for several years 
the shipping of this port with their colors and national flags. 

Next was the one-story shop of Mr. John Beck, hatter^ 
whose daughter was the wife of Mr, Mark Chadbourne. 
He was the father of the late Henry Beck. 

Next to the hatter's shop was a large two story gambrel- 
roofed house owned by Major Gardner, connected with a 
two story store endwise on the street. This Major Gardner 
disposed of when he purchased the estate of Ichabod 
l^ichols, Esq., in Gardner street, who removed to Salem, 
Mass. The house in State street, after Major G, left it, was 
occupied by Capt. Gilbert Horney, and at the time of the 
fire by Mr. Phillip W. Currier. The store was occupied by 
Mr. George Dame, limner, as his studio, from which point 
of view he painted a very striking likeness, (full stature) 
of Benjamin Howe Quint, a tall man who resided in New- 
ington, but who frequently was employed as a stone mr.son, 
in building cellars and laying stone side pavements. At 
that time he was laying stones in front of the dwelling 
house of Capt. Timothy Mountford, nearly opposite. The 
position of the painter's subject was that of a stooping 



NOETH SIDE OF BUCK STREET. 225 

posture — his arms towards the ground, his hands dinching 
and adjusting a flat paving stone, his back towards the 
painter, his feet wide apart, and his aquihne Roman nose 
(which was of such extended dimensions that it would 
have placed him in the highest estimation of Bonaparte,) 
was visible beneath his body, extending like the point of 
a plough approaching the ground. The picture when 
finisbeu, which was previous to the original having finished 
his labor in the street, was uxposed to view in the window 
of the painter; and so perfect was the likeness that no one 
familiar with the face of Mr. Quint failed to recognize him 
as the original of the picture ; and being greatly enraged, 
the subject threatened to demolish the window with his 
stone hammer if it was not removed forthwith. This was 
done, but it was afterwards exhibited in a private manner. 
The ludicrous position and exact likeness of Mr. Q. caused 
much merriment at his expense. 

The store attached to the Horney house in State street, 
was also occupied as the post office by Mark Simes until 
1805, v/hen the post office was removed to the Bass house 
in Broad street, on the spot where the hay scales now stand. 

Next westerly was the two-story dwelling house of Capt. 
William Edwards, standing end to the street with the front 
door on the westerly side, approached through a passage - 
way about eight feet wide. This house was also the 
residence of Misses Ann and Mary Lanagan, sisters of 
Mrs. Edwards, and of Mrs. Furniss, mother of "Wihiam P. 
Furniss, Esq., now of New York. 

Next was a two story-dwelling house standing end to 
the street, "ihe building of which was commenced by Joehua 
Pike, '^ barber aud j,; uke wig ma^ver,'* but was compl.ted 
by Sir. John Staver of mail-stage renown. It^vas occu- 
pied by his son William, and afterwards by his son-in-law 
Capt. John II. Seawards. It was from this house that the 
hostler, mentioned in Eamble 101, page 18, stole the bucket 



226 RAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

of rum, for which he paid the penalty at the town pump. 

Next was a long two-story dwelling house fronting the 
street and elevated six or eight feet above its level. It 
extended from the yard of Mr. Stavers' house to a narrow 
passage way at the western end of it, which terminated in 
a goldsmith's shop, occupied by Capt. Martin Parry, who 
also occupied the other western part of it as his dwelling 
house. Capt. Martin Parry died of yellow fever in 1802, 
which was prevalent in this vicinity at that time and swept 
off some of our best citizens. He was a merchant of hon- 
ored standing, and the agent of William Gray, Esq., of Salem, 
whose ships then were loading at our pier for Calcutta, Rus- 
sia and other places. Capt. Parry left an only daughter, 
Ann, who was the first wife of our respected townsman, the 
late William Jones, Esq., who after the fire built the house 
now occupied by Rev. James DeNormandie, near the spot. 
The eastern half of the house was the residence of Madam 
Bettenham, so favorably known and respected as a lady 
who never failed to make all happy who had the privilege 
of her company. Her mother, who was the daughter of 
George Meserve, ship builder, occupied the same house 
before her. Capt. James Christie, who married the daugh- 
ter of Mrs. Bettenham, occupied this house till his death 
at Philadelphia in 1812. His children John and Mary were 
born here. The late William Simes, gold and silver smith, 
was an apprentice of Capt. Parry, and after his master 
^gagedin mercantile pursuits, occupied the shop. 

The next building was the long two-story store of Jacob 
Sheafe, Jr. Esq., standuig end to the street and fronting on 
Washington street. Many amusing reminisences of this 
of this store might be mentioned. It was once occupied 
by Mr. William Neil, an emigrant from Ireland, a gentleman 
beloved and respected by all who knew him. He was the 
friend of man in the full and true sense of the word. He 
had a very pleasant manner of address, and at times was 



NORTH SIDE OF BUCK STREET. 227 

quite amusing, and made very many sensible remarks to 
those who traded with him in the store, in which he exposed 
for sale a great variety of goods. He was distinguished 
as the seller of Irish linens, of which he was an excellent 
judge of quality, so that who bought linen of him was sure 
it was wholly of flax. In teas he was also renowned as a 
good judge, so much so that the remark was frequently 
made when tea of the right flavor was served at table, 
" this is Mr. Neil's tea." Mr. Neil took a hint from this, 
and had some nice wrapping paper prepared for putting up 
the tea he sold, and the following neatly printed upon the 
package : — 

" This is very good tea. And where did you buy it? 
At Mr. William Neil's store, Buck street, Portsmouth. 
You will call and get some of the same." 

William Neil was a native of Belfast in Ireland, and a 
graduate of Glasgow Colh^ge. His children were three 
sons and four daughters. Thomas, Charles and Robert G,; 
Ann, married George Andrews of Dover; Elizabeth, mar- 
ried Mr. Wheeler of Dover ; Sarah, married Daniel Melcher 
of Boston, and Margaret was the first wife of John Nutter, 
of Rochester. The children of his son Thomas (who mar- 
ried Sarah, daughter of Capt. Hector McNeil of the Navy,) 
were William, who died single ; Mary A. ; Jane, widow of 
S. H. Sise of New York, and Thomas, now of this city. 
The latter, of the firm of Neil, Tarlton & Co., is the only 
descendant which now bears the name of Neil. 

The same store was previously occupied for a short 
period by Pomroy & Maynard, from England, for the sale 
of hard-ware goods. They soon returned to England. 

The venerable William Neil was very sensitive to any 
remark which unfavorably reflected upon the Irish, or his 
native land, Ireland. So sensitive was he to the publica- 
tion of any Irish bull, that for many years when Mr. Turell 
had charge of the Oracle, he never admitted any of the 



# 

228 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

amusing anecdotes of this class, assigning as a reason that 
he would not injure Mr. NeiPs feelings. His memory is 
still pleasant to those who knew him. 

Next was the spacious dwelling-house of Jacob Sheafe, 
between which and the store occupied by Mr. Neil, was a 
large paved yard, and in the rear of the whole was a fine 
garden reaching back to the lane. Reminisences of much 
interest might be related of the occupant of these premi- 
ses, and of his hospitalities to strangers of distinction who 
"visited the town, and also of his estimable lady, particu- 
larly of her kindness and hospitalities to the distressed, 
sick, poor and needy. Mr. Sheafe, after the fire, occupio^d 
his large brick block on the corner of Market and Daniel 
streets, where he died. Of his large family, Mrs. Charles 
Cushing, of Little Harbor, only survives. Next on the east 
corner of Ark Lane, now called Penhallow street, was a 
square, one-story hipped-roof building, occupied as a retail' 
ing piece goods store by William Sheafe, brother to Jacob, 
and afterwards by Ward Gilman as a brassfoundry. 

On the opposite side of Ark Lane, on the corner of State 
street, stood the Ark Tavern, kept by John Davenport. It 
Was originally a two-story single house, fronting on State 
street. Mr, Davenport was a silver smith and buckle 
maker, and had removed to Portsmouth from Boston, where 
he was born. He had occupied the building on the corner 
of Fleet and Congress streets, now owned by the Mechanic 
Association, and had served the town as constable several 
years. He made several additions to the house in State 
street, one of Avhich, one-story high, covered a small gore 
of land on the eastern end, about eight feet in width at the 
widest end, in which he himself worked at his trade. A 
connection of Mr. Divvenport's vfife, (Mr. Welch,) having 
at Lynn acquired a knowledge of the laliob cloth slipper 
manufacture, he witli him commenced the mining of them 
in copartnership ; at the same time continuing the buckle 



NOETH SIDE OF BUCK STREET. 229 

jnaking business, which soon afterwards became unprofita- 
ble by the introduction of shoe strings. Mr. Davenport 
then opened his premises as a public house, with the sign 
of Noah's Ark, and denominated his house the " Ark Tav- 
ern," exhibiting in front a fanciful sign of the picture of the 
Ark. 

Mr. Davenport's wife died in this house wdiile the Super 
rior Court was sitting in Portsmouth, in the month of Feb- 
ruary, and as his house was crowded with boarders, which 
made her burial very inconvenient, she Avas kept until the 
court closed its business about three weeks after. 

The artist who painted Mr. Davenport's sign, went by 
the name of James Still. His proper name was James 
Ford. Under his real name he had been guilty of an of- 
fence which cost him a part of his ears. Although he 
dropped the Ford as ho did the long hair over his ears, yet as 
his baptismal name was not changed, it remained, he said, 
James still. Thus in the exercise of his good talent as a 
delineator and painter he continued till the time of his 
death under the name of James Still. 



RAMBLE CXXY. 



Central FortsiXLOiath. before the IT-ire of 1S13. — Jaiiaes 
Slieafe's Residence — A-larahaiTi Isaac, tlae Jew — Jon- 
athan. nSI. Se"S7P"ell, the Poet. 

Next west of Davenport's hotel on State street, were the 
premises of Hon. James Sheafe, who occupied the family 
mansion of his father. The house was large, of two stories 



230 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

and an ell. It somewhat resembled in appearance the 
Whipple house, the residence of the late Alexander Ladd, 
Esq. on Market street, and was built at about the same 
time. The house was on the site of the present residence 
of J. M. Tredick, Esq. and connected with it was the large 
garden, now owned by Mr. Tredick. Mr. Sheafe owned 
the whole of the square south of the Market, excepting the 
corner lot, on which a building was, after the fire, erected 
for the N. H. Union Bank, and now occupied by Albert R. 
Hatch, Esq. and C. N. Shaw & Co. At the time of the fire, 
on this corner lot was the Adams house, where resided the 
mother of Nathaniel Adams, the collector of the Annals of 
Portsmouth. In this house at the time of the fire were 
shoe shops of Lewis Bruce and Mendum Janvrin. Between 
this house and James Sheafe's residence, was another 
double house belonging to him, and occupied in one tene- 
ment by Dr. J. H. Pierrepoint, the beloved physician, and 
in the other by the widow Rachel Isaac, as a variety store 
and residence. 

Abraham Isaac and his wife were natives of Prussia, and 
Jews of the strictest sect. They were the first descendants 
of the venerable Jewish patriarch that ever pitched their 
tent in Portsmouth, and during their lives were the only 
Jews among us. He was an auctioneer, acquired a good 
property and built the house opposite the Rockingham 
House on State street, now owned and occupied by Mrs. 
M.P.Jones. Their shop was always closed on Saturday, 
and on almost any other day in pleasant weather, Mrs. Isaac 
might be seen at the counter or looking over the half door 
by which the shop was entered. In front of the house, 
within a foot of it, was a pump. The well is still kept in 
order for fires, and it may be seen on the outside of the 
present sidewalk, near the cross pavement which leads to 
the Episcopal chapel. Mr. Isaac died on the 15th of Feb. 
1802, aged 49, and on the stone which marks his grave in 



ABRAHAM ISAAC, THE JEW. 231 

the North burying ground, may be seen the following 
model epitaph, written by our poet, J. M. Sewall: 

Entnmb'd beripalh, where oarth-born troubles cease, 

A soti of lailhful Abia'm sleeps in peace. 

In life's first bloom he left his native air, 

A Bojouruer, as all his fmhers were; 

Throiifih various toils his active spirit ran, 

A lailhlul bte»ard and an honest man 

His soul, we trust iio» freed from mortal woes, 

Finds, in the parlriarch's busoni sweet repose. 

A better epitaph can rarely be found. Rachael, his 
widow, for ten years after his dejtth continued her variety 
store in this house, and after its destruction in 1813, having 
no children of her own, took up her residence with an 
adopted son who lived near New Ipswich, in this State. 
He was the agent of one of the first cotton factories in that 
vicinity, and at her death, in that place, all her property 
became his by bequest. 

Repassing again the Adams corner, we go up what is 
now the front of Exchange Buildings, under the shade of 
large beautifully spread elms, and nearly on the spot where 
the Rockingham Bank now stands we can see a large white 
gambrel-roofed bouse, back to the market, end to the street, 
approached by a lattice gate. In general appearance, po- 
sition, and garden on the south, very nearly resembling the 
mansion of Samuel Lord, Esq., on Middle street. 

This house was the property of John Fisher, Esq., who 
owned the land on which the Market was built. The Fisher 
family went to England after the Revolution. About 
seventy years ago this house was occupied by Jonathan 
Goddard, 3^sq., the first husband of Mrs. Robert Rice. It 
was afterwards occupied by Dr. Josiah D wight until 
the fire. 

The brick market checked the fire in this direction. It 
was a truly dismal sight the next morning from this stand- 
point to see a spot cleared which contained one-fourth at 
least of all the buildings in Portsmouth, and nothing inter- 
• vening between the market and Portsmouth Pier but naked 
chimneys and smoking ruins ! 



232 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSAIOUTH. 

We will turn from this scene for a short ramble to Gates 
street. 

Prominent among the poets of the Revolution, whose 
verses carried spirit into the camp, and stirred up the pa- 
triotic fires of those who performed the statesman's duties 
at home, was that philanthropic man, Jonathan Mitchell 
Sewell, Esq., whose home was in Portsmouth, and whose 
last place of abode was the house on Gates street nearly 
opposite that of Capt. Joseph Grace. 

An enquiry has been made who was the author of " The 
Versification of "Washington's Farewell Address, by a gen- 
tleman of Portsmouth, N. H., printed in 1798." 

This Versification we have before us. It was written by 
Mr. Sewall and published, with the author's characteristic 
modesty, without his name. The poem, if such it may be 
called, occupies forty-four octavo pages, and is almost a 
literal presentation of the original in rhyme-r-the author 
endeavoring to shun any of the tinsel decorations of poetic 
ornament, " not indulging to his own fancy on such momen- 
tous subjects, handled before with such masterly per- 
fection." 

Mr. Sewall was born in Salem, Blass., in 1748, and died 
in Portsmouth in 1808. He studied law with Judge John 
Pickering of Portsmouth, became a member of our bar, 
and was of high standing as a lawyer, but no less eminent 
as a statesman and poet. He was the writer of the stir- 
ring song of the Revolution entitled •" War and Washing- 
ton," beginning ''Vain Britons, boast no longer," &c., which 
was sung in every camp throughout the country. 

One of our venerable citizens has recently given us a 
pamphlet- containing a Fourth of July Oration delivered at 
Portsmouth in 1788, "By one the inhabitants." There is 
no clue in the book to show who that inhabitant was. The 
title page presents as a motto and apology for withholding 
bis name, the following expressive quotation from Pope : 

" Who builds a church to God, and not to fame, 
Will never mark the marble with his name." 



JONATHAN M. SEWELL, THE POET. 233 

This was the first 4th of July Oration delivered in Ports- 
mouth after the Declaration of Independence. The modest 
author was Jonathan M. Sewall. It was a patriotic produc- 
tion of much higher literary merit than many public 
addresses which have their author's names in conspicuous 
capitals. 

Charity casts a veil over the weaknesses of his latter 
years, since the record of his whole life shov/ed him an 
honest man, the advocate not only of the cause of his 
country, but also of the injured, however humble their 
situation. His grave stone bears the following epitaph : 

Tn vain shall worth or wisdom plead to save 
The dyins victim from the defiiiiiRcl grave ; 
N-or charity, our helpless nature's pride. 
The friend to him, who knows no friend heside ; 
Kor genius, science, eloquence have pow'r. 
One moment, to protract th' appointed hour I 
•Could these united his life have repriev'd. 
We should not weep, for Sewall still had liv'd. 



KAMBLE CXXVI. 



Central I>ortsmo\ith. before the Fire of 1S13. — Stories 
of Escapes, Rescu.es, &cc. 

"We close the sketches of the scenes which are forever 
covered by the ashes of the great fire, with the following 
sketch, by Mr. John H. Bowles : 

The stirring up you have been giving of late in the 
'' Bamhles," to the ashes of the great fire of 1813, while it 
has doubtless revived the event in all its freshness to 
many who were living at the time, has recalled to a still 
greater number the impressions they received in their 
youth from others, who were also eye-witnesses of its many 
thrilling scenes. Names and locations are forgotten, in 
xaany instances, but incidents remain ineifacable. 
16 



234 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

To the cliildren of thirty to thirty-five years ago, it was 
a theme that was ever new, and never tired. Let us take a 
backward look to a time, when, to all but the more youth- 
ful generation, the great conflagration was an affair of yes- 
terday. It is Christmas eve. A merry group of juveniles, 
a dozen in number, after an afternoon of unbounded enjoy- 
ment in the spacious attic, succeeded by a bountiful repast, 
are gathered in semi-circular array, around the hearth-stone. 
An oak-wood fire throws out its genial heat, for the owner 
of the mansicm loves to see the fire-light reflected upon the 
massive andirons and shining fender, and will admit into 
the sanctum sa7ictorum, the family sitting-room, no such 
modern innovation upon old-time comfort as a stove, though 
it may do very well for the kitchen, whose arctic frigidity 
nothing else would ever warm. When the entire cata- 
logue of youthful romances, the " Cinderillas," the "Robin 
Hoods," etc. have become exhausted, the young lady, to 
honor whose birthday the little party were assembled, sug- 
gested to " mother " to " tell them the story about the 
great fire." ''Mother" thinks it is more than a "thrice-told 
tale;" but it is repeated, and listened to with eager ears by 
her youthful auditors ; and the same story, in substance, 
has been told again and again, on many others than 
Christmas eve, and formed the theme of many a winter 
fireside chat. 

"Aunty " has a passage of her own experience to relate, 
and we will let her tell her own story in her own way. 
" The china tea-set you saw upon the table, to-night, was 
among the last articles saved from my father's house, and 
its rescue nearly cost me my life. It was in a back room 
closet, whose contents amid the excitement were forgotten, 
when nearly all else of value had been removed to a place of 
safety. While I was engaged in removing the china from 
the shelves, some men were tearing away an out building, 
into which the closet projected, in the rear of the house, 



STOEIES OF ESCAPES. 235 

to enable the firemen to obtain "u^ater in our o^vn and the 
adjoining yard; and as I stepped from a clniir to place the 
last remaining article in a basket, the bright blade of an 
axe came crushing through the back of the closet, in the 
very position where my head had been but an instant before. 
My escape seems little short of a miracle as I think of it, to 
this day. After leaving the house, as we supposed, for the 
last time, it occurred to my brother that there still remained 
in the garret a trunk of family relics, including some val- 
uable brocade dresses, opce the property of our grand- 
mother, and he expressed a determination to go and rescue 
it. We tried to dissuade him from the idea, but without 
success, and I went with him. "When we reached the garret, 
the room was in flames, and the heat was so great that we 
could scarcely breathe. I was afraid to go further than the 
door, but my brother went onward, and seizing the trunk 
by one of its handles, was dragging it to 'the stairway, 
wdien a large portion of the boards of the roof, burnt to a 
cinder, fell through from the rafters, and covered the floor 
with blazing coals. It was an awful moment, for through 
the aperture thus made in the roof, the wind came with the 
force of a tornado, driving the fire and smoke before it, but 
my brother kept on wnth his burden, after an instant's 
delay, and did not stop until it was safe in the, street. Half 
an hour afterwards, the pleasant home where our childhood 
had been spent was one bright flame from the foundation 
to the ridgepole." 

" Grandpa," who, in his comfortable chair, has been 
reading the last " Jourxal," and a fresh copy only two days 
old, of Major Ben Russell's ^' Boston Centinel," says, as he 
picks up the fallen brands and adds a fresh forestick to 
the fire, that he will tell them a story of a " nice young 
man," who, he has always thought, did more good than any 
one else the night of the fire. He was here and there, and 
everywhere, wherever his aid was most needed for thu 



236 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

general or individual good. At one time lie could be seen 
passing water in the ranks ; at another helping some poor 
widow to save from her burning dwelling her little all ; here 
he would relieve an exhausted fireman at the brakes of an 
engine, and there lend a hand in removing from their homes 
the sick or disabled ; when the strength of others was 
exhausted, his energies seemed to increase with the amount 
of labor he performed. About midnight, while resting for 
a moment, and surveying the fire from the roof of a store, 
a volume of flame suddenly burst from a barn on the 
opposite side of the way, and in an instant afterwards a 
young lady appeared at the second-story window of a 
dwelling but a few yards distant, which she attempted to 
raise, but failed in the effort, and fell backwards out of 
sight. Descending to the ground, he crossed the street, 
and finding no one below stairs, he ventured to knock at 
the door of tfie room where he had seen tho young lady, 
but receiving no answer he lifted the latch and found her 
lying insensible upon the floor, for she was recovering from 
sickness, and through v^^eakness and terror, had fainted 
away. There Avas no time to lose, for the glass was 
cracking in the windows from the blaze of the burning 
barn; and wrapping her in a blanket, which he stripped 
from the bed, he carried her in his arms to the residence of 
a relative where he had seen some of the family furniture 
conveyed an hour before. The next day he was haunted 
b}'' a vision of a pair of bright eyes, and felt a desire to 
improve with their owner an acquaintance so oddly begun. 
A few days before he thought her but a child, as he lifted 
her across a gutter on a rainy day, and it was benevolence 
alone that prompted the service he had rendered her the 
previous night, but as she lay so helpless upon his breast, 
and one of her soft curls stole out from the folds of the 
blanket and rested upon his cheek, he fancied that she Avas 
changed into something more than a child. There w^vs q. 



EESCtJES. 237 

very soft spot in his lieart for the girls, tliough he was 
somewhat bashful in letting them know it, but he mustered 
courage at last to go to the house where he had left his fair 
burden, and enqufre if she had sustained any injury from 
her exposure to the keen air of midnight. He soon called 
again on the same errand, and deris'ed so much gratification 
from his visits, that he continued to repeat them for four 
or five years afterwards, when the family mansion had been 
rebuilt in its old location^ and finally carried off the young 
lady to a snug little home he had built for himself on one of 
the lots made vacant by the fire. "Grandpa" concludes 
his story by adding^ "The 'nice young man' is living 
still,- and ready as ever to do all sorts of kind acts; and I 
shall not be surprised if he comes here to-night for this 
little rogue at m_v side, who came very honestly by her 
bright black eyes and her silken curls." 

The above are a few of the legends of the great fire, of 
which enough might be collected to fill a fair sized volume. 
In the course of a conversation upon the subject recentl}', 
with a gentleman who was an eye-witness of the scene from 
its commencement to its close, he remarked to me that 
the impression left upon his memory of that terrible night, 
alike from the awful grandeur of the conflagration, and its 
many heart-rending scenes of distress, were as vivid as if 
it had beeri an event of the previous week's occurrence. 
In many instances the entire fruits of a life of industry 
were swept away, leaving the sufferers at mid-winter, with- 
out a place of shelter, or a dollar to recommence the 
world anew. The rapid advance of the fire after it reached 
the third or fourth building from its starting point, was like 
the rushing of the flames over a burning prairie. Families^ 
who at first looked calmly on at a distance, never dreaming 
that danger could reach them, an hour or two afterwards 
were retreating before the devouring ehment, leaving half 
their effects behind to be burned up with their dwellings. 



238 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Furnitore and other articles of value, that had been taken 
to places of imagined safety, were afterwards removed to 
other locations, and finally burnt up in the streets. Such 
was the consternation when the calamity Avas as its height 
and it was feared the whole place would be consumed, that 
many people seemed utterly bereft of their wits, causing 
them to commit absurdities which it afforded them much 
amusement to relate in after years. One good lady, v;ith 
a houseful of furniture, and the fire but two tenements dis- 
tant, was running about in a green baize dressing-gown 
and red woollen cap with an empty bottle in her hand, and 
another with three bonnets in her hand and none upon her 
head. A strange sight was revealed the following morn- 
ing when daylight appeared. The streets and avenues lead- 
ing in every direction from the location of the fire, were 
strewed with furniture of every description, from that 
fashionable article of the time, the sideboard, to the most 
common utensil in domestic use ; family stores, also, added 
to the variety, even to the pies that had been prepared for 
Christmas. It was a sad scene, too, and one that many 
looked upon with breaking hearts, for instead of the com- 
fortable homes of which they were possessed when the sun 
went down the previous night, they saw only a heap of 
smoking ruins. 

The memorable passage in the history of Portsmouth 
that forms the subject of this letter, is a most impressive 
instance of the amount of evil it is possible for a single 
wickedly disposed individual, by a very slight act, to 
accomplish. The writer has a recollection of seeing, in 
his childhood, the author of this great calamity, by which 
so many were stripped of their ei tire ea^ thly possessions, 
{'udwhensh:^ deemed the awful vsecret locked up in her 
own bosom. A. more abject, wo-begone specimen of fallen 
h'lmanity tha'] she appeared at that time, it would be 
scarcely possible to imagine. She applied, under an as- 



STATE STREET. 239 

sumed name, (imagining that she would be unrecognized,) 
to a lady who had been familiar with her face while she was 
in the employ of Mrs. Woodward, and asked for souie out- 
ofdoor employment, offering to labor for a pittance that 
would hardly have saved her from starvation. If those 
who had been the greatest sufferers from her wickedness 
had looked upon her then, with a knowledge of the fact, in 
her utter wretchedness, it would surely have disarmed 
then >i all resentment. Whatever her after life may have 
been, (of which I have no knowledge,) she was evidently 
suffering at that period beneath a weight far heavier to bear 
than poverty, even in its most dire extreme — an evil con- 
science, and to such a degreej perchance, as sometimes to 
feel like Cain, that her punishment was greater than she 
could bear. 



RAMBLE CXXVII. 



state Street in. ITQS — IDro-wn B^aiiaily — Dr. Lymnan Spald- 
ing— Capt. Feter Co^Tes — Samuel E. Cones. 

In previous Rambles we have given sketches of State 
street previous to the fire of 1813. Beginning now at 
Sherburne's wharf, the eastern end o^ the street on the 
south side, we will proceed west on thivl side of the street, 
and give the residents therein about '-eventy years ago. 
First was Capt. Lenjamin Sherburne's N. H. Hotel, on the 
east corner of Water street. On the west corner was a 
small shoemaker's ?hop. Next was along two-sti^ry houc-e 
o\vnel by John H. Seaward, occupicl by Griffin's cut nail 
manufactory, by John Yeaton, tobacconist, and Timothy 
Winn, 3d. ('* Three F.nny Vfii':.'") Fe^'t comes William 
Meserve's dwelling house, John Libbey's shoe-shop, 



240 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

then the house of Capt. Josiah Shackford, ah'eady referred 
to in a former rarable, as the adventurer who crossed the 
Athmtic alone in a boat^ This house was directly iji front 
of Rosemary street. Then came the hoiase of Timothy 
Gerrish, with his silversmith's shop m- front. Abner Blais- 
dell's house was next, and his grocery store was on the 
oast corner of Atkinson street. On the west corner was the 
dwelling house and grocery and ship chandlery store- of 
Capt. Pe-ter Goues. Next west was the dwelling and silver- 
smitli's shop of Samuel Drown. These houses v^ere all 
two stories, many of them with end to the street, and, as 
will be seen, aft'ording under the same roof, a residence and 
place of busine-ss. The street was very narrow — from 
AVashingto-n to Atkinson streets, State street (then Buek) 
averaged only about 22 feet in width. 

Mr. Samuel Drown was the third son of Rev. Samuel 
Drown, the pastor of the Pitt street society. We find 
among our papers a sketch of the family which is worth 
preserving. It is said tliat the first of the name was a 
child found at sea alone in a boat, too* yo'drng to give any 
account of himself, and from his probably intended destiny 
he received the name of Droion. Such is the legend — an(f 
las no mention of the name is made in the old English 
f-krarlies, it may be correct. 

Leonard Drown, born 1G4G>, was a shipwright by occu" 
pation. He came from the west of England a»nd married at 
or near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Elizabeth Abbott. 
He lived to the age of eighty-three years, and died in 
Boston, Massaclrasetts, October 31st, 1729'. He was blind 
for seven years next preceding his death. Bis wife died 
in the year 1704. He mQ,rried again but had no issue by 
the second wile. He lived at Sturgeon Creek, about seven 
miles from Portsmouth,- where all his children' were born. 
He carried on shipbuilding there- till 1GD2, when on account 
®.f the liulian warS;, he was obliged to removey and went i& 



THE DROWN FAMILY. 241 

Boston with Lis family, where he followed the same em- 
ploj-ment. 

His children were fonr sons and two daughters, namely : 
Solomon, Samuel, Simeon, Shem ; Susanna, who married 
John Johnson of Boston, and Mary, who married Mr. Kettle 
of Charlestown. 

Samuel died near to if not in Portsm'outh. 

Solomon w^as born January 23d, 1681, his wife Aug. 18th 
1686, and they were married November 8, 1705, in Bristol, 
R.I. They, had eleven children, namely : Solomon, born 
October!, 1706; Esther, Oct. 26, 1708; Elizabeth, Sept 8, 
1710 ; Joseph, Feb. 8, 1715 ; Bathshebah, June 10, 1715; 
Benjamin, June d, 1717 ; Mary, June 7, 1719; Samuel, July 
31, 1721 ; Sarah, July 23, 1723 ; Jonathan, July 29, 1725 ; 
Shem, June 13, 1728 ,' Solomon, the father of these, died 
in 1730, and his wife in 1741. 

Their son Samuel Drown was married to Sarah Reed, in 
Rehoboth, Mass. He was a Calvin Baptist Minister of the 
Gospel, but differing from that denomination on account of 
their practice of close communion, he left it and b'ecame an 
Independent Congregationalist, which sect were sometimes 
stigmatized by the name of New Lights, a name which he 
and his brethren did not adopt. 

About this time, several of the members of the First 
Congregational Church in Portsmouth, of which Sami:]el 
Langdon, D. D., was Pastor, being dissatisfied with the 
indifference of that Church to spiritual improvement, and 
the absence of that degree of vitality in a large proportion 
of the members of the Church, which should, in their 
judgment, have characterized them as disciples of Christ, 
together with some differences of opinion in re pect to 
church discipline, induced them to secede from that church ; 
and, being joined by other professing Christians in Ports- 
mouth and from the neighboring towns, founded a new 
Church, called the " First Independent Coiigregationalist 



242 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Church in Portsmouth, N. H.," and invited Mr. Drown, who 
had seceded from the Calvin Baptist denomination, to take 
the pastoral charge of the Church; a place or house of wor- 
ship being erected in Pitt, (now Court) street, on the site 
of the Unitarian Chapel, for their accommodation. The 
invitation was accepted, and he arrived at Portsmouth from 
Coventry, R. I. with his family, July 7, 1758, and continued 
the faithfal and beloved pastor of this little flock, and by 
none was he respected and revered more than by the living 
members and succeeding Pastor of the North Church, from 
which, mainly, his church were seceders, until his decease, 
which occurred January 17, 1770, leaving a widow, who 
died Septeml er 12, 1784. They had ten children. The 
first four were born in Providence, R. I., the next three in 
Coventry, R. I., and the last three in Portsmouth, in the 
present Moses house on the east side of Vaughau street, 
opposite the Toppan mansion. 



Mary, born August 21, 17-li, 


died Angust 


31, 


1744. 


William, " September 23, iTij, 


" December 


::i. 


. 1747. 


Parah, " September 3, 17i7, 


" May 


23. 


18iO. 


i*amuel, " November 5, 1749, 


" August, 


7, 


1815. 


Tcter, " January 10, 17o2, 


*' February 


4. 


, 1783. 


Betsey, " November 9, 17 j5, 


" November 


9. 


1763. 


Thi)mas, " April 27, 17'.7, 


" September 


7, 


181G. 


Benjamin," July 14, 1750, 


" December, 




1793. 


Mary, " July 19, 1762, 


" 




1824. 


Joseph, " Oct. 9, 1769, 


Nov 


.13, 


,1827. 



Peter Drown was killed by Elisha Thomas, for which he 
Was executed at Dover in 1788. 

Samuel Drown married Mary Pickering of Portsmouth, 
sister of Capt. Thomas Pickering, commander of the private 
armed 20-gun ship Hampden, and fell in battle with an 
English Letter of Marque, in Marc' 1779. The children 
'.T Samuel were three sons and four daughters. T..iOrcas 
P., Daniel P., and Samuel. The latter died in 1797, at the 
age of 18. Lydia married Ebenezer Wyatt ; Sarah married 
Capt. Mark Blunt ; Eliz.tbeth married Charles Treadwell. 
Daniel P., born in 1784, and barah, born in 1788. 



THE DROWN FAMILY. 243 

Sometime in Mr. Brown's ministry liere, Robert Sande- 
man came to Portsmouth and was admitted into ^Ir. 
Drown':i pulpit. He preached therein several times, but 
did not fully develop his religious sentiments, (though the 
doctrines he preached were generally in accordance with 
those of Mr. Drown and his Church,) until he more fully 
announced them on the occasion of his preaching from 
Luke 2d: 28-32. 

In opening his discourse, Mr. Sandeman said, some per- 
son read this passage in this manner — that he took the 
child in his heart, but my bible says he took him in his 
arms. Mr. Drown from this circumstance, discovered that 
Mr. Sandeman entertained the doctrine which afterwards 
distinguished him and his followers as a distinct religious 
sect. While Mr. Sandeman was making the concluding 
prayer, Mr. Drown selected from Watts' Hymns 13th, book 
1st: 

" If love t« (rod and love to man 

He absent, all our hnpua are vain ; 
Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal 

The works of love can e'er fulfil." 

When he had concluded his prayer, Mr. Drown rof«o to 
read the hymn, and as he was proceeding, Mr. Sandenan 
took his hat. Mr. Drown observing this, stepped to Iho 
pulpit door before Mr. Sandeman reached it, and held it 
to, so that he could not pass until he had concluded. Mr. 
Sandeman thus compelled to remain, repeatedly exclaimed, 
" I hate the very breath of it." After Mr. Drown had con- 
cluded, he opened the pulpit door, saying, " Now, sir, } ou 
can go if you please." 

The " New Lights" were held in poor repute by Oov. 
Weutworth, v/^^) issued a special notice granting all c^iuis- 
t'vj.s periiiission to perform the marriage ceremony " ex jpt 
one Drown." 

Since this Eamble was written, two aged members of 
the Drown family have departed this life, and both were 
buried on the same day. The young may die, but the old 



244 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

must. To Daniel P. Drown we are indebted for many 
interesting incidents of old times. 

Next east of the Drown residence was that of Capt. 
Peter Coues ; a few rods to the west, just after turning up 
Washington street, on the east side, was the residence of a 
son-in-law of Capt. Coues, Dr. Lyman Spalding, one of the 
most distinguished men of Portsmouth, as a theoretic and 
practical physician and surgeon, whose services did much 
in the advancement of medical science. 

Lyman Spalding, an American physician and surgeon, 
was born in Cornish, N. H., June 5, 1775, and died in Ports- 
month, N. H., October 30, 1821. He graduated at Harvard 
University, in 1797, and commenced the stfdy of medicine. 
In 1798, while still a student, he assisted Professor Nathan 
Smith in establishing the ]Medical School at Dartmouth 
College, collected and prepared a chemical apparatus, 
deliv> red the first course of lectures at the opening of the 
institution, and published *• A New Noynenclature of Chem- 
istry, proposed by Messrs. DeMovau, Lavoisier, Bertliollet 
mn'd Fourcroy, with Additions and Improvements," (1799.) 
His medical studies Avere afterwards continued at the med- 
ical schools of Cambridge and Philadelphia, and he entered 
upon the practice of medicine at Portsmouth, N. H., in 
1799. He devoted much .attention to the study of the 
Imtoan structure,- was a very skillful anatomist, and his 
admirable preparations^ particularly of the lymphatics, are 
now in the cabinets of our first institutions. In 1812, the 
college of physicians and surgeons of the western district 
of tlie State of New York, at Fairfield, Herkimer County, 
wa-! incorporated. Dr. Spalding being elected President 
and Professor of anatomy, and he made aimual visits to 
this school. In 1813 he removed to the city of New York, 
and, a few years later, I'esigned his position at the college. 
"With Dr. Spalding originated the plan for the formation of 
the " PharmacopaMa of the United States," by the author- 



DR. LYMAN SPALDING. 245 

ity of all the medical societies and medical schools in the 
Union. In January, 1817, he submitted the project to the 
New York county medical society; in February, 1818, it 
was adopted by the medical society of the State of New 
York and ordered to be carried into execution by their 
committee. Dr. Spalding being one of the number. All the 
medical schools and societies appointed delegates, who at 
once commenced their labors, and the first edition of tho 
work was published in 1820. To keep pace with the 
advancement of medical science, a new edition is puljlished 
every ten years. Dr. Spalding was a contributor to the 
" New England Journal of Medicine," the "New York Medi- 
cal Repository," " Lenoureau Journal of Medicine," of 
Paris, and other niedical and philosophical journals ; and, 
beside several lectures and addresses, he published '' Re- 
jections on Fever, and particularly on the Inflammatory 
Character of Fever," (1817 ;) " Reflections on YelJow Fever 
Periods," (1819,) and " A History of the Introdjaction and 
use of Scutellaria Lateriflora as a Renjedy for preventing- 
and curing Hydrophobia," (1819.) Dr. Spalding was active 
in introducing into the United States the practice of vac- 
cination as a preventive of the small pox. He was a 
trustee of the only free schools which New York then 
possessed, and aided in the establishment of the first Suij- 
day schools in that city. 

The above honorable mention of one of the citizens of 
Portsmouth, whose children are now among us, we find in 
the llth volume of the New American Cyclopoedia. 

Peter Coues, came to Portsmouth from the Island of 
Jersey in the English Channel, and in this town, Nov. 4th, 
1735, married Mary, daughter of Emanuel Long. She was 
born at Plymouth, Mass., January 19th, 1713. He died at 
an advanced age about 1783, at the residence of his son 
Peter, who was born July 30th, 173G, and married Oct, 
25th, 1768, Mary, and Oct. 12th, 1779, Ehzabeth, daughters 



246 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

of Daniel Jackson ; and also married Rebecca, daughter of 
John Elliott. Of his thirteen cln'ldren all died in infancy, 
but Elizabeth, who married Lyman Spalding, M. D., Anne, 
unmarried, and Samuel Elliott Coues. 

Among the venerable citizens of Portsmouth of half a 
century ago, we well remember Capt. Peter Coues, a gentle- 
man of independent circumstances, who might be seen, 
with his cane under his arm on State street, or in the vicin- 
ity. His residence previous to the fire of 1813, was on the 
southwest corner of Atkinson and State streets, on the spot 
where W*. J. Laighton's house now stands. In the old 
dwelling house was a store where for many years he kept 
ship chandlery, merchandise, groceries, &c. In early life 
Capt. Peter Coues was pressed into the British service. 
He was at one time sailing-master of the famous ''Royal 
George," which was afterwards, in 1782, sunk in the British 
Channel with 800 men on board. He also served in the 
capacity of midshipman. After several years sei'vice in 
the British Navy he returned to Portsmouth before the 
American Revolution, where, by that urbanity of mind and 
simplicity of manners for which seafaring men of liberal 
views are generally distinguished, lie obtained a good standi 
ing among his fellow citizens, and died on the 29tli of Nov. 
1818, at the advanced age of 83 years. 

Samuel Elliott Coues, who died July 3, 1867, was the 
last survivor of the children. In early youth he was a lover 
of books, and received a good education preparatory to 
mercantile pursuits — but it was evident that his active 
mind was better fitted for some profession where his mental 
powers could be brought into full exercise in the literary 
world. He early took an active part in promoting those 
literary clubs and lyceums which have been so beneficial in 
times past. A ready and fluent debater and good lecturer, 
be was frequently called before the public, and interested 
his auditors. Radical in his ideas, he frequently ventured 



SAMUEL E. COUES. 247 

on ground where few were read}^ to follow him. He even 
palled in question the truth of the Newtonian system of 
philosophy, and published a volume to prove the truth of 
his own peculiar theory. He enjoyed the confidence of his 
fellow citizens, and was for several years a Representative 
in the Legislature. Humanity was a principle of his nature, 
and in no better way did he ever display his philanthropy 
than in his active and successful efforts to establish the 
Asylum for the Insane in this State. He Avas a devoted ad- 
vocate of peace principles, and some of his lectures on this 
subject Avere the best productions of his pen. On the death 
of William Ladd, Mr. Coues was elected President of the 
American Peace Society, wdiich office he held for several 
years. As a member of the School committee he took deep 
interest in our public schools, and labored efficientl}^ sever, 
al years for their elevation. 

In 1853, Mr. Coues received an appointment at Washing- 
ton, connected with the Patent Office. His health failing, 
he returned to Portsmouth in 18G6, to close his life, sur. 
rounded by the scenes of his early days. He might not 
always have been right in his philosophy — he might not 
always have been judicious in his business matters — but 
under the influence of a strong nervous temperament, his 
active mind had a keen perception of the beauties and 
mysteries of nature, and the ever pervading feeling of 
philanthrophy gave a living vivacity to his conversation, in 
which he ever exhibited a desire to make those around 
liim happy. 



248 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



KAMBLE CXXVIII. 

Seizure of j^t-itls and ^Powder a,t I^ort "Williain and 
]V£ary— Tlie finale of Provincial Government in ISTew^- 
Hainpshire. 

The seizure of arms and powder at Fort William and 
Mary, (now Fort Constitution) in Portsmouth harbor, was 
the firdt capture made by the Americans in the war of the 
Revolution. We give the following extracts of letters of 
(xov. John Wentworth, communicated to the New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register of July, 18G9, by 
Hon. John Wentworth of Chicago. 

In a letter to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated " Portsmouth, 
20th Pec. 1774," Gov. Wentworth says : 

" On Tuesday, the 13th instant in the afternoon, one Paul 
Revere arrived express with letters from some of the leaders 
in Boston to Mr. Samuel Cutts, merchant of this town. 
Reports were soon circulated that the Fort at Rhode Island 
had been dismantled, and the Gunpowder and other miUtary 
stores removed up to Providence, and an Extract of the 
circular letter directing the seizure of gunpowder Avas 
printed in a Boston Newspaper of the 12th in consequence, 
as I have been informed, of the said letters having been 
communicated to the House of Assembly at Rhode Island. 
And it was also falsely given out that Troops were embark. 
iug at Boston to come wd take possession of William and 
Mary Castle in this IJarbour. These rumors soon raised 
an alarm in the town ; and, although I did not expect that 
the people would be so audacious as to make any attack on 
the castle, yet I sent orders to the captain at the Fort 
to be upon his guard. 

On Wednesday, the 14th, about 12 o'clock, news was 
brought to me that a Drum was beating about the town to 
eollect the Populace together in order to go and take away 



SEIZURE AT FORT WILLIAM AND J^^ARY. 2-49 

the Gunpowder and dismantle the Fort. I immediately 
sent the Chief Justice of" the Province to warn them from 
engaging in such an attempt. He went to them, where they 
were collected in the centre of the town, near the town- 
liouse, explained to them the nature of the offence they 
proposed to commit, told them it was not short of Rebellion, 
and intreated them to desist from it and disperse. But all 
to no purpose. They went to the Island ; and^ being joined 
there by the inhabitants of the towns of Newcastle and 
Rye, formed in all a body of about four hundred men, and 
the Castle being in too weak a condition for defence, (as I 
have in former letters explained to your Lordship,) they 
forced their entrance, in spite of Captain Cochrane, wh,o 
defended it as long as he could ; but, having only the 
assistance of five men, their numbers overpowered him,. 
After they entered the Fort, they seized upon the Captain, 
triumphantly gave three Huzzas, and hauled down the 
King^s colours. They then put the captain and men under 
confinement, broke open the Gunpowder magazine, and 
carried offabout 100 Barrels of Gunpowder, but discharged 
the Captain and men from their confinement before their 
departure. 

On Thursday, the 15th, in the morning, a Party of men 
came from the country accompanied by Mr. [Gen. John] 
Sullivan, o,ne of the Xew-Hampshire Delegates to the Con- 
gress, to take away the Cannon from the Fort also. j\Ir. 
Sullivan declared that he had taken pains to prevail upon 
them to return home again; and said, as there was no 
certain intelligence of troops being coming to take pos- 
session of the Castle, he \yould still use his utmost en- 
deavours to disperse them. 

While the town was thus full of men, a committee from 

them came to me to solicit for pardon or a suspension of 

prosecution against the persons who took away the Gun^ 

powder. I told them I could not promise them any sucU 

17 



250 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

thing; but, if they dispersed and restored the Gunpowder, 
which I earnestly exhorted them to do, I said I hoped His 
Majesty may be thereby induced to consider it an allevi. 
ation of the offence. They parted from me, in all appear- 
ance, perfectly disposed to follow the advice I had given 
them; and having proceeded directly to the rest of their 
associates, they all pub'liclcly voted, about five o'clock in 
the afternoon, near the Town House, to return home ; 
which it was thought they would have done, and it also was 
further expected that the gunpowder would have been 
restored by the morning. 

But the people, instead of dispersing, went to the Castle 
in the night, headed by Mr. Sullivan, and took away sixteen 
pieces of cannon, about sixty muskets and other military 
stores, and brought them to the out Borders of the town. 

On Friday morning, the IGth, Mr. Folsom,"'-' the other 
delegate, came to town that morning, with a great number 
of armed men, who remained in Town as a guard till the 
flow of the tide in the evening when the cannon were sent 
in Gondolas up the liiver into the country, and they all 
dispersed without having done any personal injury to any 
body in the town. 

They threatened to return again in order to dismantle 
the fort entirely, and to carry off or destroy the remaining 
heavy cannon, (about seventy pieces, and also to seize upon 
the Province Treasury, all of which there was reasonable 
ground to fear they would do, after what they had already 
done; but, on the Gunpowder's being taken away, I wrote 
to General Gage and Admiral Graves for assistance to 
restrain the boisterous temper of the people ; upon which 
the Admiral ordered the armed ships Canceaux and Scar- 
borough here, and they arrived (the former the 17th and 
the latter on the 19th) in time to prevent the further 
dismantling of the fort." 

•'Nathaniel. 



FINALE OF PEOVIXCIAL GOYERNMENT IN N. H. 251 

Fiirtlior on, Gov. "NYentworth says the government has no 
power to bring the offenders to punishment. 

No jail would hold them long and no jury would find 
them guilty ; for, by the false alarm that has been raised 
throughout the country, it is considered by the weak and 
ignorant, who have the rule in these times, an act of self- 
preservation. 

Again he says : 

I tried to dissuade them by the civil authority, sheriff, 
magistrate, <fec., and did all I could to get the militia raised, 
but to no purpose. 

He had assembled the Council at the beginning of the 
tun^ult, but it was of no avail. In his letter to Lord 
Dartmouth, dated 28th December, 1774, he sa3^s : 

It is with the greatest concern I perceive the unlimited 
influence that the popular leaders in Boston obtain in this 
Province, especially since the outrage of the 14th instant. 
Insomuch, that I think the people here are disposed to 
attempt any measure required by those few men ; and, in 
consequence thereof, are arming and exercising men as if 
for an immediate war. * 

In a letter to George Irving, Esq., dated Portsmouth, 
5 January, 1775, referring to the 14tli December, when the 
Castle was seized, he says : 

The powers of magistracy have been faithfully and re- 
peatedly tried. Governor, Council, Chief Justice, SheriS 
and Justices of the Peace personally appeared ; Procla- 
mation made according to law for all to desist and disperse ; 
the militia ordered out ; drums beat, &c. ; yet all to no 
avail. Not one appeared to assist in executing the law. 
And it was impossible for me, with four councillors, two 
Justices, one sheriff", Mr. MacDonough and Mr. Benning-" 
Wentworth, to subdue such multitudes, for not one other 
man would come forth. Not even the Revenue officers. 
All chose to shrink in safety from the storm and suffered 

*This Benning Wentworth was son of Saniuel and Elizabeth (Deering) Wentworth, a 
brother to Gov. John Weiitworth's wife. He was boru at iioston ICtli Alaich, 1757, graduated 
at. Oxford, England, and died at Halifax, 18 Felj. 1808, whilct Becrctary to Gov. Wentworth. 
lie has no debcendante living in the male ling. 



252 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

me to remain exposed to the folly and madness of an 
enraged multitude, daily and hourly increasing in numbers 
and delusion. 

lie says Captain Cochran and his five men defended 

A ruinous Castle with the walls in many places down, at 
length knocked down, their arms broken and taken from 
them by above one hundred to one, the Captain was con- 
fined and at last would not nor did not give up the keys 
notwithstanding every menace they could invent; finally 
they broke the doors with axes and crowbars. 

In a letter to General Gage, dated ''Fort William and 
Mary, 15 June 1775," he says — 

The ferment in this province has become very 

general, and the government hath been very much agitated 
and disturbed since the affair of the 19th of April last- 
Two thousand men are already enlisted, two-thirds of whom 
I am informed are destined to 'join the insurgents in your 
province, and the remainder are to be stationed along the 
coast in different parts between Portsmouth and Newbury. 

The spirit of outrage runs so high that on Tuesday last 
my house was beset by great bodies of armed men who 
proceeded to such a length of violence as to bring a 
cannon directly before my house, and point it at my door, 
threatening fire and destruction unless Mr. Fenton, (a 
member of the assembly then sitting,) Avho happened t.p call 
upon me, and against Vidiom they had takep up sucH 
resentment as occasioned him some days before to retire 
on board the man-of-war in the Harbour out of their way, 
should instantly deliver himself up to them; and notwith- 
standing every effort to procure effectual assistance to 
disperse the multitude, Mr. Fenton was obliged to sur- 
render himself and they have carried liim to Exeter about 
fifteen miles from Portsmouth v»diero he is, as I am in- 
formed, kept in confinement. 

Seeing every idea of the respect due to his Majesty's 
Commission so far lost in the frantic rage and fury of the 
people as to find them to proceed to such daring violence 
against the Person of his Representative, I found myself 
.u^der the necessity of immedia.tely witlidrawing to Fort 
WiUiain and Mary, both to prevent as much as may be a 



FINALE OF PROYIXCIAL GOVERXMEXT IX X. H. 253 

Repetition of the like insults and to prov^iJe for my own 
secui-ity. 

I think it exceedingly for the king's service to remain us 
Jong as possible at the Fort, where I now am with mv 
Family in a small incommodious House without any other 
prospect of safety, if the prevailing madness of the people 
should follow me hither, than the hope of retreating on 
board his Majesty's ship Scarborough, if it should be in 
my power. This fort, although containing upw^aixls of 
sixty pieces Cannon, is without men or ammunition. 

In a letter to Paul Wentworth,^-" dated at Fort William 
and Mary 29 Jt^ne, 1775, he says : 

i^.dmiral Gi'aves has sent a transport under convoy of 
the Falcon, slo6p-oi-war, and entirely dismantled this un- 
garrisoned Castle of all the ordinance, stores, &c. 

Besides the inconvenience of being crowded into this 
miserable house, conhned for room and neither wind or 
Arater tight, I am inevitably obliged to incur some extra 
expense for my safety and existence even here. Being of 
necessity compelled to make some small repairs to render 
it habitable and to employ six men as watches to prevent 
my beirig surprised and made prisoner. These, wnth my 
three servants, and Mr. Benning Wentworth, and Captain 
Cochran are divided into three guards of four hours each ; 
by which means I have some security of getting on board 
the Scarborough. The six men are at tlie expence of 
Twelve dollars per month each, including their dieting, 
allowance of Hum, ttc. ; under which expence no trusty 
man can possibly be had for so unpopular a service in this 
time of general opposition to Government. I'he repairs 
will not exceed fiity guineas. 

In a letter to Lord Dartmouth, dated at Fort William 
aiid Mary, 17 July, 1775,- he says: " From five to eight 
trlen hare been usually kept in this Fort in time of Peace." 

The latest letters dating from Fort William and ibiry 
{ire those addressed, 17 August, 1775, to Hon. Theo. Atkin- 

- this Taiil Wentttorlh was a native of ono of the \v'(vt (nil! i Is'ainls; lui' liarl p-isfpil 
Pomc'litiio !it ronsnidiuli. N. U. He was nirf'nt fur the PinviiiCe of Nrw naiiiij>h ire at 
London, and had iifen apijointcd a Ci'Uncillor whilst at I ondoti liut had not reiiuned to hn 
s-HOiii ill v« h n the revolution liioke out. U.utuioutli coufened the d gieeof L. L. D. 
upon him in 17tJ9. lie died at Surinam in December, 1703. 



254 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

vson, of Portsmouth N. H. ; and 18 August, 1775, to tli6 
Earl Dartmouth, London. 

In Sept. 1775, from the Isle of Shoals, he dates his last 
official paper in New-Hampshire, proroguing the General 
Assembly, which wa^ to meet that month, to the next April. 



BAMBLE CXXIX. 



Our Navy Yard is now so completely a work of art, that 
it has almost gone out of mirid as a work of nature ; the 
days of its youth are forgotten, or remembered only by^ii 
few, and those few not sufficiently interested to snatcli 
from oblivion the record of those early days. 

The Navy Yard Island, containing about sixty acres, 
formerly called Fernald's Island, was up to the present 
century used for farming and drying fish, and had but ond 
house upon it.' In 180G it was purchased by the United 
States of Capt. William Dennett, for $5,500, for the estab- 
lishment of a Navy Yard. A lady who has recollections 
of the island in past years, has kindly aided us in a Eamblej 
by the following interesting sketch of her recollections. 

My recollections of it date from the early years of it.^ 
establishment as a naval post, when most of it was still in 
a wild state; and we, children, could gather wild straw- 
berries and black berries, bouquets of violets and white 
everlasting, and branches of the glossy-leaved, fragrant 
bayberry, on every hill and in every hollow. But years 
have brought strange changes ! Now it has become almost 
a regular fortification ; not a furlong of its natural shoroj 
or a rod of its original surface, is to be found. 

Years ago destiny removed me from the spot — but I still 



THE NAVY YARD. 255 

cling to it. Occasionally, of a summer, I go, for a day, to 
look with bodily eyes upon that •'' greenest spot in mem- 
ory's waste ;" but it is like visiting the grave of one long- 
dead, whose quiet resting place it is hard to find. Busy, 
ambitious life starts out upon me from all the old quiet places 
where once we could dream for hours undisturbed ; the 
fine brick quarters of the officers stand where once was 
'• our wild strawberry patch ;" the '' old house " on the 
hill, as we ascended from where the landing now is, con- 
taining two tenements under one roof, (and occupied, as 
necessity required, by the lieutenant, surgeon, sailing mas- 
ter, or naval storekeeper,) has disappeared, and the hill 
along with it, from the surface of the earth. It stood 
about where the steps now descend the declivity in the 
basin of which is the Dry Dock ; and just beyond the 
house, on the summit of the hill, was a flag-staff within a 
hexagon or octagon shaped enclosure, built of timber, with 
embrasures for cannon in time of need, though no cannon 
were in it then. 

Behind the old ship house, (which for half a century 
sheltered the well seasoned Alabama,) just on the Ava- 
ter's edge, were two small, white-washed, one-story houses, 
honored with the name of barracks, and occupied by a 
sergeant and a small detachment of marines. And between 
these barracks and the blacksmith's shop was an old yellovv^, 
two-storied, frame house, used as the sailor's lodge: the 
spot now occupied by the brick lodge being then a grassy 
hollow, containing a solitary well, where occasionally the 
marines came to wash and spread out their linen to dry. 

But all this is with the past, and now I look around and 
feel bewildered by the change that has taken place. The 
old elm in the enclosure around the Commodore's house is 
the only object that looks familiar — the only old land mai k 
remaining unchanged — the original proprietor of the soil, 
whose claims arc better groanded and of earlier date than 



256 KAliBiES ACOtJT PORTSMOUTH. 

Uncle Sam's. The house itself is an old land mark, but it 
has been frequently altered and repaired, till it can hardly 
be called the same. The most striking feature of its interior 
used to be the paper on the walls of the two front rooms. 
That on the eastern room, represented a mingling of smoke 
and carnage on a field of battle — soldiers in scarlet and 
blue uniforms, wounded and dead, prostrate upon the 
ground or borne upon litters, fulling from their horses or 
trampled under foot by them. These figures were a foot 
in length, and the horses were the size of cats. I never 
felt happy in that room — in turning the eyes from one 
scene of horror they fell upon another; but in the western 
room it was different. There the walls M'ere covered with 
a series of sketches from Italian scenery, (with trees the 
height of the room,) representing ladies, accompanied by 
gaily dressed cavaliers, stepping from marble palaces into 
■waiting gondolas, or leaning over richly decorated balco- 
nies ; public marts, where were collected gronps in all the 
gay costumes of the Levant ; marble fountains, from which 
liandsome peasant girls we're bearing aWay pitchers and 
jars of water; and lazy looking men, lounging among grass- 
grovv-n ruins, playing upon musical instruments ; while a 
group of l)Oth sexes were dancing. We never tired of 
looking at these scenes, and never thought whether there 
was furniture in the room or not. Such paper must have 
been designed as a substitute for furniture. 

The house now used as a hospital is an old landmark, 
but is too shabby to be recognized as aii acquaintance 
by those trho knew it in better days, with its well kept 
though not handsome exterior, its highly cultivated gar-- 
den sloping to the very Avater's edge, and when comfort 
and profuse hospitality reigned within. Like many a human 
being, it has fallen, after a long and useful life, into a 
shabby and neglected old age. 

In those days we had no bridges connecting us with 



THE NAVY YARD. 257 

Jenkins' ( now Bridge's) Island to the soutli and the main 
land to the north, and making the Yard a highway for the 
multitude. We were a little world to ourselves, and daily 
sent our greeting to the neighboring town and islands 
through the mouth of our sun-set gun. This greeting is 
no longer necessary,, because the bridges have made the 
Navy Yard a sort of continuation of Portsmouth and 
Kittery/ 'Vtbich is doubtless a great advantage to all ; but I 
have less sympathy with its present diffusive and elaborate 
state,- than xtith its former simplicity and isolation. 

The portion of the island now occupied by the marine 
barrack and parade ground was then a tolerably high hill, 
rising abruptly from the shore on the south-eastern side, and 
terminated on the top by the powder house, built of rough 
atones, white-washed, and vrith a conical roof. On this liill 
we played, in sun and rain,' summer after summer; on this 
hill we used to kill quantities of snakes, trying to make it 
rain (as we had been told we could) ; to the top of this hill 
we ran to get a view of the neighboring main land, with its 
two little straggling villages of Kittery Point and Foreside. 
But suddenly there came an order from Government tcx 
to build a new barrack, and this hill was selected for the 
site. The powder-house waste be removed, and one half of 
the elevation to be levelled for a parade ground. I was not 
sorry to have the powder-house taken away, for it was the 
cause of some of tlie most cheerless days of my cliildhood; 
those days when early after breakfast came an order from' 
the commandcEnt '''to put all fires out," because powdCr 
was to be removed; and all the houses which it waste pass 
must be fireless^ lest a chance spark (almost an impossi- 
bility ) should fall among the kegs or canisters as they 
were carted by. And there we sat shivering, wra^|3e(t 
in cloaks and shawls, (in mid-winter,) until such time as the 
ti-ansportation was over, and wc could renew the fires, doff' 
out-of-door garments, and make an evening of unusual glow 



258 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

and warmth compensate for a day of gloom and chill. I 
was glad to have the recurrence of these days put an end to, 
but I was sorry to have the hill, our favorite play-ground, 
taken from us. And now I watched each day th6 move- 
ments of the prisoner soldiers as they worked at the level- 
ling of the parade ground, with a long iron chain fastened 
to their Vv^aist, to which was attached a heavy iron ball, 
which they had to lift and carry wherever they went and 
whichever way they turned. This was the punishment, then, 
for all attempts at deserting. They seemed cheerful enough, 
laughing and talking among themselves ; but I could 
not help pitying them, as I watched them through a whole 
summer, working with shovel, pick axe aild wheelbarrow, 
in the hot sun, with that ball and chain, and I freely forgave 
them for digging up and wheeling off the soil which had 
been a little world to us. 



RAMBLE CXXX. 



Capt. Daniel inemalcl — Residence — Ownership of the 
IsTavy "SL^arcl — ^War A.clventu.res — Diclclling the Spencer 
74 — Putting a British Irrigate on the roclcs. 

A FEW rods Avest of the South Ward Room, on the corner 
of Manning and Howard streets, stands an old gambrel-roofed 
house, which numbers almost as many years as the old 
Church itself which was removed from the spot in 1865. 
It was in a central part of the town when it was built, 
and the elevated position it then occupied must have 
made it a desirable residence. It was built by Capt. 
Samuel Frost, who died before the recollection of tho 
late occupant, the venerable Capt. Daniel Fernald, the 
oldest person in Portsmouth at the time of his death, which 



CAPT. DANIEL FERNALD. 259 

occurred March 7, 18G6, at the age of 98 years 3 1-2 
months. 

About the time of the close of the Revohition the house 
was owned by Capt. Nichols, a merchant, brother of Nathan 
Nichols who occupied the Gardner house, and of Ichabod, 
who at the same time occupied the Buckminister house. 
Nathan and family occupied the southern half of this house^ 
and his mother and a maiden sister occupied the end on 
Howard street. Rev. Dr. Nichols of Portland was a son 
of Nathan. 

In 1788, Capt. Daniel Fernald married a daughter of 
Samuel Nichols, and became an occupant of this house, half 
of which he purchased, and the other^half became his wife'.'-j 
by inheritance. 

We called on the old gentleman a few years before his 
death. He was feeble, and his hearing somewhat impaired, 
but he was as warm-hearted, and his recollection of early 
events as good as ever. The events of the day he was also 
able to keep in mind : for he- told us he had attended 
church a few weeks previous and listened to his good 
pastor, Dr. Peabody. To the inquiry what did he preach 
about? he readily responded, ''about Mary and Martha, 
and the one thing needful. I could not hear all he said, 
but was able to spell out much of it." How few 
church attendants there are who are able to repeat a 
text a fortnight after listening to a sermon. 

He showed us his old long lost family record, w hich had 
recently been found, written on the leaf of ail old bible, 
and wafered to the cover. By it we learn that his fatlier 
was George Fernald, who was born on the Island now the 
Navy Yard, in 172-i, and was married in 1764 to Anna 
Leach, born in 1744. He was a regular descendant of Dr. 
Reginald Fernald, who was one of the first emigrants to 
New Hampshire. 

The island was a family inheritarice, and would now bO 



260 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the property of Capt. Daniel Fernald, had not the rig-bt of 
primogeniture been abobshed by the laws of Maine. The old 
gentleman informed us that at the time the United States pur- 
chased the island, in 1806, (when it was purchased of Capt. 
Wm. Dennett for $5,500,) lawyer Mason searched the records 
ta Alfred, Maine, for the title. He found by the records that 
t'le island was to descend to the oldest male heir from gen- 
eration to generation, " so long as tiie grass grows aad the 
waters run." Had not the laws of Maine annulled all entail- 
meats, i\Ir. Mason said he could put Capt. Fernalcl in pos- 
session of the island at the time for not more than ten 
dollars expense. lie looks with some interest yet upon the 
yard, for one of those great ship houses is erected over 
the grave of his fatlier and family. Dr. Reginald Fernald, 
the original proprietor, says he was buried near the Brown 
place, on the main land near the Navy Yard. 

When a young man, Capt. Daniel Feriwld participated in 
the Revolutionary War, and also in the Avar of 1812. 
He was ever a kind-hearted, humble man, and was 
treated with respect by every one. In the war of 1812 he 
was in command of the schooner Sally, a coaster, and might 
sometimes take a freight to Boston, and at others down east. 
It v/as in the dangerous da3's of that War, when the British 
men-of-war Avere off our coast, and sometimes in sight from 
the land, that Capt. Fernald^took on board at Portland two 
24:-pound cannons needed at our Navy Yard, and 13,000 
lbs. of powder, [loO kegs of 100 lbs.] — 100 boarding pikes 
find cutlasses. The guns were placed in the keelson, and 
the kegs of powder around them. He then heaped spruce 
"H^'ood around tliem; and piled some cords on deck over the 
hatchways. With a speed far inferior to steam he left 
Portland for our harbor. Off Saco he was becalmed. The' 
British 74 Speilcer hove in sight. A tender commanded 
by a lieutenant was soon sent alongside. After inquii-ing, 
*' Where from?^' -- Portland. •'• Where bound?"— Ports- 



rUTTIXG A BRITISH FRIGATE ON THE ROCKS. 2G1 

mouth. "What is yonr cargo ?"— Firewood— the Lieu- 
tenant not satisfied, ordered his men to remove the wood 
from the hatch, and see wliat was in the hold. They 
worked until tired, and when within one tier of the guns 
left the job, reporting that there was nothing but wood on 
deck and in the hold; and as the Captain appeared so inof- 
fensive, the lieutenant, whose name was Robert Lashley, 
concluded to let the Sally pass. 

The sailors were in favor of making her a priz3. Why, 
said the lieutenant it would cost just as much to condemn 
this poor man's wood craft as it would a large ship, r.pj 
your prize money would not amount to a penny apiece. 
So saying they gave him up his papers, told him the way 
they had piled his wood was too heavy for the bows, and 
lie had better right it, and left the Sally ''a bone prize for 
John Bull," said Capt. Fernakl, "if he had but known it."' 

The interview was seen, and news reached Commodore 
Hull at the Portsmouth Navy Yard tliat the vessel was 
captured by the Spencer, and the guns and powder were of 
course supposed to have " gone off." But ere long the 
Sally, slow and sure, appeared below, and the surprised 
Commodore speedily sent down his boats t.Q tow her up to 
the Navy Yard, where, after the other wood was removed, 
the " big logs," and " kmdlings" were rolled out. The 
Captain tells of this escape with much satisfaction. 

On another occasion, when pi-eparations were making for 
building the Washington 74 at our Navy Yard, Captain 
FernaJd was sent to Portland for a load of timber, <tc. He 
took on board 48 knees and the breast hook of the 74, the 
knees hanging over the sides of the vessel. He pursued 
his course as near shore as practicable, being well ac- 
quainted with the Y/hole coast. He was discovered., how- 
ever, by tl,ie British frigate Tenados, and seeing his cargo, 
determined to make the Sally a prize. They were ap- 
^u-oaching Wood Inland, and Captain Fernald took his 



262 RAMBLES ABOUT rOBTSMOUTII. 

coursG SO near sliore that liis mon cautioned bim tliat lie 
was among the kelp. No matter, says the Captain, throw 
over a few of the knees, and we will bring all up riglit 
directly. Four of the knees were thrown over, and on 
the Sally sailed between the rocks, Avhile all of a sudden 
the frigate was resting upon them, and became a fixture ! 
The exasperated Commodore ordered two 18-pounders to 
be discharged, to blow the Sally to pieces. The balls 
however did not hit, but one of them struck upon the rocks 
on shore, and after he made himself safe. Captain Fernald 
went on shore and found it. The frigate laid on the rocks 
until the rising of the tide enabled her to back off, leaving 
the Sally the victor. When the Sally came in. Commodore 
Hull inquired whether she had been fired upon. Capt. 
Fernald replied in the affirmative, presenting the 18-pound 
ball to the Commodore as a token. 

Commodore Hull replied, " You are a good fellow, you 
stand fire well — go up to the Yard and we will unload you.''" 
Some years after the peace, Capt. Fernald fell in with a 
British tar, who Avas on board the frigate at the time. He 
said the Tenados was so much injured on our coast that 
she leaked badly, and was compelled to return immediately 
to Halifax and re-copper. 

Other of the old gentleman's recollections have been 
given in previous Rambles. 



EAMBLE CXXXI. 

Shapley's Island. — Snaall !Pox Farties — Incidents and 

I'astim.es. 

Before the introduction of vaccination for the kine pox, 
which was not discovered until just before the close of the 
last century, all who wished to be secure from taking the 



shapley's island. 263 

smtill pox in the natural way, were vaccinated for it, and 
withdrew for three or four weeks from intercourse with the 
world. We have before us a letter in the hand-writing of 
Doctor Hall Jackson, dated at the Essex Hospital, Dec. 17, 
1773, at which time he was a small pox patient. It was on 
bis return that arrangements were made for '' a general in- 
occulation in Portsmouth. " From that time up to 1797, 
Shapleigh's Island, in this harbor, was used as the '' Pest 
Island," and every few years parties went there to have the 
small pox. 

These small-pox parties were frequently made social gath- 
erings — there were more who spent a summer month in 
this way than at the watering places ; they had one advan- 
tage over the latter amusement, for as they could but once 
be of such a party, it remained a novelty through life. 

"We have before us a letter from Joseph Barrell, a mer- 
chant of Boston, dated July 8, 1776, addressed to Col. 
Joshua Wentworth, of Portsmouth, in which is this post- 
script : — 

>'Mr Stnrer has invited Mrs. Martin to take tfce small pnx at his house: if Mrs. Went- 
worth desires to jjet rid of her fears in the same way. we will accommodate her in the best 
wEjy we can. I've several friends that I've invited, and none of them will be mor? welcomo 
than Mrs. W." 

What a subject for so courteous an inv^itation ! We will 
adopt for this Ramble the following interesting communi- 
cation from Mr. Bowles on this subject. 

There is a passage in the history of Portsmouth, at the 
close of the last century, to which I have never seen any 
allusion in print, that is, I think, worth preservation from 
being entirely forgotten ; at least so far as it may be done 
in the columns of a newspaper. I refer to the time when 
in the months of May and June, 1797, the young ladies and 
young gentlemen went to Shapleigh's Island to receive 
vaccination for the small-pox. There are but few living, 
who, from personal recollection can recall the event, but 
others, of a later generation, still retain much that was re- 
lated to them in former years, by those who were partici- 
pants in it. 



2G4 RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

That little green isle in the Piscataqua, whose still life, 
at the present day, is disturbed only ]iy its few inhabitants, 
and the travel to and from Newcastle was for the time a 
scene of great animation. The flower of the vduth and 
beauty of Portsmouth were congregated there, and as noth- 
ing more unpleasant was experienced than the ordinary 
results from vaccination, a majority of them wen- [>erfectly 
well, and remembered the affair as little else than a holiday 
festival of the gayest description. 

A gentleman of Portsmouth, still in the full vigoi- cd' life, 
with whom I conversed recently upon the sulijcct, recol- 
lects the pleasure he enjoyed in watching their sjjorts. by 
the aid of a spy-glass from the roof of his father's residence 
in Buck (now State) street. One of the party then in her 
iTtli year, often said to me, in her maturer \'cars. that 
those were among the very happiest da^^s of her whole life. 
There was about an equal ^^roportion of both sexes, and as 
most of them had arrived at an age to understand that or- 
der of animal magnetism referred to in (Genesis xxix. : 20, 
the little knight of the bow and arrows, with the benevolent 
idea, doubtless, of giving them something to oc<-u[)y their 
time during a season of so much leisure, made himseif par- 
ticularly busy among them. A greater amount of that 
.species of amusement known as "love-making,-" was, 
probably, never concentrated within a briefer space or 
more limited period. While some of' it lasted out a life- 
time, the larger proportion, tradition snys, was of t!ie 
icphemeral kind that some crusty bachelor, who probably 
never knew anything from experience of •• the tender 
.passion," has termed " puppydove, " and did not long sur- 
vive the change from sea-air to the atmos[)here of ilie 
metropolis; still, it was a very harmless ]iastiiii(\ and 
furnished a theme for many a pleasai^t thouglit and 
jsnlivening chat in after years. 

The following reminiscences, that have survived through 



SMALL POX PARTIES. 265 

a period of more than three score years, will give some idea 
of a season that left so agreeable an impression of itself 
upon the young of a past generation. 

Among the evening enjoyments, candy-parties were 
highly popular ; occurring, by turns, at the ditferent dwell- 
ings where the patients were quartered. A ludicrous affair 
happened at one of these saccharine gatherings, that was 
long remembered. A fresh supply of molasses had been 
procured from town, which unfortunately proved of an 
obstinate quality, still to be found, that cannot be induced 
to boil into candy. It came off the fire but little thicker 
than it went on, and was turned into a gallon punch bowl, 
which it nearly filled, and placed upon a benclji in the yard 
to cool. A brother of the young la'dy who placed it there, 
by way of a joke removed it a short distance to a position 
directly under the eaves of a shed, where it had remained 
scarcely a minute, being ptill in a liquid state, when 
the family cat, returning from an evening walk, leaped head 
foremost into the bowl, and the next instant came bounding 
into the house, presenting a spectacle at which even the 
most tender-hearted, who sympathized with her in the mis- 
fortune that had befallen her, could not help laughing. A 
benevolent young lady (who retained a soft spot in the 
heart for the unfortunate through a life-time of nearly fifty 
years,) procured some warm soap-suds and attempted to 
relieve her from so uncomfortable a predicament ; but 
pussy preferred to be her own laundress, and had ample 
employment for a week or two thereafter, in efforts to re- 
store her sable garment to its pristine sleek and glossy ap- 
pearance. 

'' Dutch-dolls, " then much in vogue, formed another of 
their pastimes. With the exception of its occasional 
revival among the Christmas festivities, of families who 
love to keep up the ancient customs, this grotesque inven- 
tion of a past age is now but seldom seen. It was of 
18 



2GG RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 

English origin, in the younger days of tlie Prince of Wales 
and his friend Beau Brummel, and its name evidently 
emanated from the ever-existent propensity of the English 
race to caricature their Teutonic brethren. As it is possi- 
ble there may be some who \vere never favored with an 
introduction to a " Dutch-Doll, " a few words of explanation 
as to their construction may not be amiss. A round splint 
broom, or something equally convenient for the purpose, 
was enveloped in a dress, with a mask for the face, a wig, 
and surmounted by a bonnet or cap. This was elevated in 
the hands of a person who was partially concealed beneath 
the skirts of the dress, and wholly so by a sheet or second 
dress below it. The ordinary height of these gigantic 
" dolls " was eight to ten feet. Any one who will fancy the 
surprise it would give them to have their slumbers disturbed 
at midnight, or in the small hours of the morning, and 
discover by the moonlight, such an object looking into the 
window of their second-story sleeping-room, can form an 
idea of what some of the young ladies experienced during 
their sojourn on the island. The young gentlemen all ac- 
knowledged to have seen " Dolly " during her nocturnal 
ramble, but the particular individual who to " all of which 
I saw, " might have added, " and part of tvhicli Iivas^^ could 
not be found. 

On a beautiful evening in June, as a party of six were 
enjoying a leisurely stroll along the shore, a small island in 
the distance had so much the aspect, in the brilliant moon- 
light, of fairy-land, a wish was expressed to visit it, and the 
means for its accomplishment soon presented itself, though, 
as the result will show, it proved a somewhat dangerous 
one. While pursuing their walk, a few yards farther on, 
they found a small boat lying high and dry upon the shore, 
and without taking into consideration the possibility that it 
might not prove an entirely seaworthy conveyance, they 
launched it into the water, and, with pieces of board 



INCIDENTS AND PASTIMES. 267 

selected from drift-wood on tlie beach, to serve as paddles 
started on their voyage. It was soon learned that their 
bark was by no means water-tight, for a little cascade was 
visible at every seam, and while two of the young gentle- 
men were engaged in propelling it, the third found full 
employment in keeping it free of water. They reached 
their destination in safety, and, after exploring the little 
islet without meeting a Selkirk or a Fernandez, but instead 
thereof plenty of bushes that gave promise of future 
whortleberries, they gathered a few memorials of their visit 
from the sand, and started on their return. The precaution 
had been taken to haul their boat upon a ledge of rocks, 
fearing it might take in, daring their absence, an inconve- 
nient supply of the briny element ; and in the process of 
setting it again afloat, some hard knocks were experienced, 
which, unlike Mr. Weller's watch, did not have a tendenc}' 
to improve it, for it leaked worse than ever;. how many 
^' strokes an hour," as the logbook is not at hand to deter- 
mine, cannot be stated with nautical precision, but the 
young gentleman who took his turn at bailing found it 
harder work than he had fancied, and soon after leaving the 
island met with a mishap that placed the adventurous navi- 
gators in a situation on the shady side of comfort. The 
article used for throwing out the water was a broken 
pitcher, found in the boat, which an unlucky blow against 
the gunwale shivered to atoms, and left them without any- 
thing that would answer as a substitute. The tide was, 
besides, against them, and their progress necessarily slow ; 
fortunately, however, they reached in safety the starting 
point, but not until the water was a foot deep in their craft. 
The adventure being a contraband affair, entirely against 
the rules and regulations, their mysterious absence, during 
which search was made for them, remained unexplained 
until after they had returned to town. 

The last of these reminiscences for which space remains, 



268 E AMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

relates exclusively to the young geutlemen. As the sea 
air, by which they were surrounded, naturally sharpened 
their appetites, the hospital diet, prescribed by Doctors Cut- 
ter and Jackson, was to them a sore trial. The supplies of 
pastry, etc., sent from town, might do very well for the girls, 
but they wanted something more substantial. The children 
of Israel in the wilderness did not hunger more for the flesh- 
pots of Egypt, than they for the roast beef and similar viands 
of Portsmouth. Pierce's Island could be reached then as 
now, at low water, by land, and thither by way of variety, 
they often resorted. One afternoon, when about a dozen 
had assembled there, a Spring Market fisherman, just re- 
turned from a successful trip to the ocean, recognizing 
among them the sons of some of his customers, came along 
side of the island to have a chat. The tempting display of 
the finny tribe that his boat presented, suggested thoughts 
oi chowder, and it was proposed, although all amateur cook- 
ing was strictly prohibited, to get one up on their own 
account. As a preliminary step, a fine cod was procured 
from the fisherman's stock, and hid beneath a pile of rocks 
in their place of retreat ; and before they slept, a pot, and 
and all the other requisites for chowder making, found their 
way to the same locality. At a specified hour the next 
forenoon, they assembled at the rendezvous, and set about 
putting their project into execution ; each one having his 
allotted task to perform. The result was a complete suc- 
cess ; such a chowder, it was the unanimous opinion, had 
never before been seen on the Piscataqua. Each was provi- 
ded with one of those mammoth clam shells everywhere 
found on the Eastern coast, with a smaller one to serve as a 
substitute for a spoon, and, all unconcious of the surprise that 
awaited them, they had assembled around the pot to do jus- 
tice to its contents ; when a sound saluted their ears as if 
some one one was feeling his way with a stick over the 
rocks, on the other side of the high bank behind which they 



.INCIDENTS AND PASTIMES. 269 

were sheltered from observation, and a moment later a 
glimpse was had of a cocked hat, and Dr. Jackson was 
looking down upon them ! The rogues had been betrayed 
by the smoke seen rising from their place of concealment, 
which combined with the continued absence of so many of 
them, led to their detection. How the doctor took the 
matter, history does not say ; but we will imagine that he 
adopted the most sensible course he could have chosen, and 
after a gentle reprimand, good naturedly accepted an invi- 
tation to partake of a compound, that no one better than 
himself, doubtless, knew how to appreciate. 

The old Shapley mansion, from its capacious dimensions, 
presented the greatest array of inmates, for whom it ever 
had the happiest recollections. Its walls re-echoed to many 
a scene of merriment in after years 

<' Recalled 'mid memories of their far-off youth, 
Of soriows past, and joys of long ago." 

The island was re-awakened into life some thirty years 
subsequently, when the bridges had been built, by the 
opening for a time of the Shapley homestead as a public 
house, and the conversion of the large warehouse, still 
standing at the waterside, into a bowling alley. On the 
afternoon of a fast-day occurring during that period, a 
large representation of the youth of Portsmouth, of the 
male gender, were again assembled there, and the amount 
of the once popular fast-day beverage, " egg-nogg," con- 
sumed on the occasion between intervals of base-ball play- 
ing, would have aroused the sympathies of that excellent 
man and unwavering friend of temperance, the late Father 
Matthew, of whom some wag has related that he proposed 
'^ administering the pledge " to the money market when ho 
heard it was " tight." The ancient edifice has since disap- 
peared, and not a trace now remains upon the spot to show 
that it once had an existence. 



270 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



RAMBLE CXXXII. 

The Old Spring IMai-ket— Tlie USTeptune aiad River ISTyinplis 
of the IPiscataciu.a. 

In 1761, the town built a Market house on Spring Hill. 
The site was that now occupied by Mr. Blaisdell's store^ 
No. 2 in Merchants' Row, next to the south store. 

On the south side of the Market Avas a pump in a well, 
and a dipper attached. Between thirty and forty years 
after, when the block of brick stores was erected on the 
spot, the Market was removed to the wharf east, its present 
site. In digging for the basement story of the southern 
store, the well Avas brought above ground, and a log was 
then laid to the boat-landing under the market^ through 
which pure water has continued to flow in an uninterrupted 
stream to the present day. 

What a host of recollections cluster around that old site, 
and how grateful the remembrance of that old awning like 
shell, which used to be open on three sides, — that map of 
business life Avhicli fifty years ago and up to a later date 
gave a town attraction to the old Spring Market. About 
fifty years ago, an attic was built over what had been a 
simple board awning, and the Market was extended perhaps 
twenty feet on the east over the water, to give better ac^ 
commodations for the sale of fish. And twenty years since 
the progress of the age seemed to require a new market 
house, so the old one was sold and removed to Noble's 
Island, where in front of the Noble house it still stands in 
all its ungraceful proportions. It was a great mistake to 
change the form of the old free market ; where every one 
who had anything to sell could find a location, and any one 
who was desirous of purchasing could obtain supplies from 
first hands. The present arrangement of the building for fish 
dealers ha& driven the market women from their old favorite 



THE OLD SPRING MARKET. 271 

location — and the paltry sum received by tlie city for the 
rent of stalls, is lost ten times over by the prices which 
individuals by monopoly have the chance of obtaining. 

One day several years ago on a solitary seat in the centre 
of the Spring Market, with fish rooms on the water side 
and the butchers' stalls on the other, sat two of the old 
market women of fifty years ago. Spread around them 
were their baskets of beans, peas, berries, cucumbers, &c. 
as of yore — but as their old companions in trade had 
ceased to appear so had also their old customers — and we 
stood alone before them, the sole inquirer for a peck of peas. 
" Well, Mrs. Flanders, you have been a long while here." 
" Yes, I am now eight-four, and I've traded here since the 
war times of 1812." "Well, this young lady at your side 
is Mrs. Furbish, I think." — "Oh, yes, she is only seventy-four. 
Our old associate Mrs. Carter, now nine-two, is at her home, 
as sprightly as either of us." 

Mrs. Flanders and another female had come down from 
Ehotthat morning in their boat, through the bridge, in the 
style of former years, — all but the substitution of a modern 
wherry for the old style canoe. They conducted their craft 
in seaman-like manner, and landed their cargo in good 
order. Their boat was then the only one which was plied 
by females to the old market landing. 

Fifty years ago, the canoe was the boat used almost ex- 
clusively by our market folks on the river. On a Saturday 
morning in summer, as well as on other days, might be seen 
what was called the Kittery fleet, consisting of some twenty 
canoes, deeply laden Avith provisions of all kinds, mostly 
rowed by women, coming down the river, or up, as the tide 
served. These canoes were handsomely brought in to the 
stairs near where the spring was pouring out its unceasing 
libation into the river. As the boat-rings became occupied, 
the painters of the last canoes which arrived were fastened to 
tlie other boats, and over a bridge of canoes, the intrepid boat 



272 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

women bore their baskets and boxes to the landing — and to 
the seats they were to occupy under the canopy of the old 
market roof. This movement was not easily done in silence. 
The upsetting of a basket by the careening of a boat, or a 
slip on the wet stairs as the heavy loads were borne over 
them, would call forth many a loud exclamation. In our 
earliest recollection, there was one master spirit in that 
company, whose voice was law, and whose decision must be 
respected, or fearful would bo the consequences. Hannah 
Mariner was called '^ the commander of the fleet on the 
Kittery station." Our good old master Turell came near 
receiving a flogging from her once for giving her this 
respectable title. She was the regulator of the position of 
the market occupants, and from her decision there was no 
appeal. One day a man at the market did not speak 
respectfully, as she thought, so seizing a whip from the 
hands of a truckman, she administered blows with no 
sparing hand. The man fled, and Hannah, with whip in 
liand, fire in her eye, cursing on her tongue, pursued up 
spring hill, lashing him as he went. Hannah was of a noble 
as well as an independent spirit. She was the saleswoman of 
the products of the Eev. Mr. Chandler's garden — and of 
course as she did so much towards the support of the 
ministry in Eliot, she felt a right to sustain her position 
elsewhere. There was Mrs. Wherren, who kept her knitting 
always by her, and Mrs. James, and Mrs. Gould, and Mrs. 
Tripyear, and Mrs. Eemick, — but to give the names of the 
market women of that day would be a record of the 
mothers of many of the enterprising men and thrifty 
liousewives of the present day, located on both sides of the 
river. It was before the times when the girls found em- 
ployment in factories — and when they aided their mothers 
not only in the dairy, and the garden plot, but also in row- 
ing the canoes to market, while their fathers devoted their 
attention to their fields. No slight dexterity was often 



THE OLD SPEING MARKET. 273 

exhibited when the mother took the paddle for steering, 
while the daughter plied the oars cross-handed. We 
should like to pit one of these old canoes under their 
management, against the shells of Harvard or Yale. Don't 
think the canoe would run in the shortest time really, but 
think it might relatively ; and taking all disadvantages into 
account we might hope to see an Eliot boat nymph bearing 
ofi" the silver cup. 

One large sail-boat from Sturgeon creek, with twelve 
women, could sometimes be seen, with their market cargo, 
all handsomely arranged. When the wind did not serve 
for their sail they would be seen standing manfully at 
their oars. 

But the market women were not all that gave life to the 
old market house. It was a time when sailors were seen at 
our wharves — and they would make no small excitement 
among the baskets scattered around the premises. They 
would buy liberally — not always because they Avanted the 
articles, but because they liked to please the market girls. 
Old Ben was in the habit of always getting boozy when he 
came to market, and on him the roguish sailor boj'S loved 
to play their pranks. Never shall we forget one of them. 
The old man was quite happy, and his jug quite empty. 
Huckleberries were three cents a quart, and pretty ripe 
and juicy. The tars borrowed the old man's hat, to give 
him a treat. On returning it filled with about two quarts 
of berries, one roguish fellow put it on his head, and then 
placing both hands on top forced it down with all his 
might ! The dark streams came running down on every 
side, leaving it a matter of no doubt that Ben had become 
a hlack as well as a blue man 1 His empty jug they then 
tied to the wheel of a dray going up the hill — and the 
ridiculous object was seen in pursuit of his dear companion, 
exclaiming at the top of his voice, " Stop that jug ! — stop 
that jug !" Such was some of the Spring Market life in 
former times. 



27i EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

There was also a fish department in the old market — and 
the fishermen, not hucksters, sold in person the avails of 
their labors. 

It has been thought that Neptune' had only an existence 
in heathen mythology — but fifty years ago there was a 
personage here who so nearly resembled the fabled sea- 
king, that he bore the name. ''Old Neptune" and ''Cap 
Spinney" were the names given to John Spinney, a veteran 
of the Revolutionary stock, who became of age in the time 
of the old war. 

It is said that Thomas Spinney was the first of the name 
who came to this country from England, about two hundred 
years ago. He settled in Eliot, on the spot now occupied by 
Wentworth Fernald. About thirty years after, Joseph Spin- 
ney took up his residence at Spinney's Neck on the river. 
They were some months residents before one day Joseph 
in an excursion in the woods called at a house for refresh- 
ment. They found in the course of conversation that 
they were of the same name, and that they were brothers 1 
Thomas had left home when Joseph was an infant, Mdio 
knew not in what part the country his brother had located. 
From Thomas Spinney the families of Thomas and Joseph 
Spinney in this city descended. Our "Neptune" was a 
descendant of the first Joseph, and lived on the family 
homestead. 

We knew Cap Spinney many years, and time and again 
witnessed his arrival and departure from the spring market. 
He was portly in person, upright in posture, of dark skin, 
long beard, and was invariably clad in petticoat trowsers, 
and a pea-jacket so covered with patches of every color 
that it was a matter of doubt what was the original — a blue 
knit cap was drawn close to his head, and red edging and 
ear pieces turned up around. His adhesion to this cap 
gave him the above designating name. He was a man of 
system and independence, and his routine for business was 



NEPTUNE AND RIVER NYMPHS OF THE PISCATAQUA. 275 

strictly adhered to. He would leave his home at Eliot at 
aijy hour between midnight and day-light, that the tide 
served, and alone in his canoe proceed to the mouth of the 
river. When the tide required him to leave before he had 
done up his sleep, on reaching the fishing ground he would 
bait his hooks, giving one turn of his lino around the thole- 
pins, and then another turn around his wrist, compose 
himself to sleep. When the fish bit, the check at the 
thole-pin would secure it, and the slight pull at his wrist 
would notify him to take it in. He would then rebait, 
redrink, and continue his nap, — and in due time he might 
be seen coming up the river and rowing into the Market 
landing. To the calls, '' Have you any fish," no reply 
would be made. As soon as his painter was fastened, he 
would raise his cuddy cover, take out his cocoanut shell, 
visit a particular shop near the market, get it filled with 
"0-be-joyful," then return to his boat, take his seat, raise 
his cocoanut to his mouth and take two or three swigs, 
resting between each with a smack of his lips — then de- 
positing it safely in the cuddy, he uncovers his fish and 
gives notice, " Now, gentlemen, 1 am ready for business." 
By the time his fish were sold, his shell Would need replen- 
ishing, and then with another swig he would push off into 
the stream, and his boat proceed almost intuitively to his 
home. Thus year after year he went through the same 
routine, until in 1832, on the 4th day of July — a day which 
he regarded as worth a particular observance in his way, 
his boat struck against Portsmouth bridge, and at the age 
of 73 he closed his life in that river in which he had almost 
lived for three score and ten years. He left about fifteen 
hundred dollars as the results of his labors, and the repu- 
tation of a friendly disposition to man and beast, as well as 
to his cocoanut shell. His like we have never since looked 
upon. 

This is the last of the Neptune and the River Nymphs of 
the noble Piscataqua. 



276 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

As an additional item to this account of our Piscataqua 
Neptune, an eye-witness describes the following scene : 

It was nearly high water on a very pleasant day in 
autumn, when to save the tide it Avas usual for old Neptune 
to return from his fishing ground to the Spring Market, 
dispose of his fare, replenish his cocoanut shell, and return 
to his domicil, that his cap-covered head, and the upper 
portion of his body Avere seen from the wharves, about 
midway between the Navy- Yard and our shore, gradually 
ascending the river without any exertion or any use of his 
arms excepting occasionally to lift his nut-shell to his mouth 
while his head was thrown back sufficiently to receive its 
contents into his mouth. Every beholder Avas satisfied 
that the veritable Neptune of Spinney's Creek, AA^as the 
object of their vision. But, Avhere Avas his craft ? Had he 
lost his canoe ? And hoAV could he Avalk in the Avater? 
Avere questions they could not solve. All Avere astonished 
till a ivight at hand, suggested that the object of their 
wonder and astonishment had by spirit ualizat ion so dimin- 
ished his specific gravity, that it had become less than that 
of ocean Avater, so that he could not sink if he would ! and 
that although he Avas not the fabled Neptune, he could 
occasionally imitate his ocean feats. But Avhen he neared 
the port of destination it became necessary for him to use 
his paddle, Avhichhe did successfully, and before "breaking 
bulk" proceeded to his Custom House to enter bis craft 
and return Avith evidence of his legal entry, by the replen- 
ished condition of the far-famed cocoanut. 

The mystery Avas noAv satisfictorily solved. A gondola 
laden Avith Avood on the preceding ebb tide had been filled 
with Avater, and a large quantity of the Avood Avith Avhich it 
Avas laden Avas spilled and floated down to the mouth of 
the river, Taking advantage of this mishap, he piled as 
much of it on board of his canoe as it Avould hold, Avliich 
brought it doAvn to the gunwale, so that all Avas under 



THE OLD SPRINU MARKET. 277 

water, and himself leisurely setting on the after seat as the 
flood tide gently carried him and craft up the river. It is 
needless to say the salvage decreed to him by the Court 
was the whole amount of the propert}' saved. 

We append to this Ramble the following sketch by Mr. 
Bowles : 

No feature of the busy life of Portsmouth, thirty to forty 
years ago, is more agreeably impressed upon the memory 
of the youth of that period who yet survive, than Spring 
Market. The native, whether his home be still at his birth- 
place or far away, remembers with heartfelt pleasure, the 
time 

''When with pole, and hook and string, 
He fished for pollock at the Spring." 

The scene is sadly shorn of its old-time glory since the 
Kittery fleet, under the command of another ''ancient mar- 
iner" than Coleridge's, were wont to fill the dock from side 
to side ; and the substantial modern structure that has taken 
its place, does not compensate for the loss of the 

"Grey, honored, worn Venitian pile,'' 

(quoting Mrs. Partington again) once serving the purposes 
of a market-house. Another change, by no means for the 
better, is the absence of the thriving grocery trade that in 
former days surrounded the market, and extended along the 
•wharf to'wards Church Point. The exhaustless crystal 
fount, from whence so many generations have slaked their 
thirst, and the lobsters, good and cheap as ever, are about 
all that remain to remind one of Spring Market in bypast 
lime. 

It was a pleasant scene of animation, truly, when those 
sun-browned specimens of the feminine population of Kit- 
tery gathered there in such large numbers. No fruit to 
the schoolboy of that day will ever taste so good again, or 
the vegetables that relished the " Cape Ann turkey"'" on 
Saturdays ever bear such a flavor, as those that came from 



278 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

their capacious baskets. The whortleberries, too, each as 
pkunp and round, and almost as large as buck shot — if 
memory, which perhaps it may, does not magnify them 
through its perspective glass — are not forgotten. Bartlett 
pears were not then known in the world of horticulture, 
but there were the St. Michael's," and plenty of the more 
common sorts, all as good as they were cheap. A school- 
boy could fill the pockets of his round about, or the young- 
ster taking his first lessons in trade, those of his " long- 
tailed blue," for less than it costs now-a-days, in some sea- 
sons, to buy a single specimen of the choicer pear varie- 
ties. Those semi-aquatic ladies, who, from all points on the 
Kittery shore betv^een Boiling Rock and Pepperell's Cove, 
drove their light barks so skillfully across the Piscataqua, 
have all passed away. Another branch of the Kittery 
trade, distinct from that at the market, was in the line of 
stocking yarn and milk. Queer tricks were sometimes 
played by young rogues upon the venders of these neces- 
sary articles, as they journeyed, through town, stopping 
from door to door to dispose of their goods. One Avas to 
attach a torpedo to the rapper of a door when one of them 
was seen approaching, and enjoy from a distance, the start 
of surprise that followed the explosion sure to occur. 
(Portsmouth boys were always sad rogues.) 

Foremost among the fishermen was that venerable indi- 
vidual known as '' Cap Spinney." His peculiar taste in 
dress, including his woolen cap, and a pea-jacket, that like 
the garment of the " Shepherd of Salisbury Plain," had been 
patched with so many different colors it was difficult to de- 
cide which was the original, rendered him at all times an 
object of interest. He might readily have been taken, in- 
deed, from his stalwart figure, and rough, weather beaten 
visage, as he landed from his boat, for old Neptune himself 
had he not brandished, instead of a tridant, his cocoa-nut 
shell. It Avas a fixed principle with him, as you state, iin- 



THE OLD SPRING MARKET. 279 

alterable as tlie laws of the Medcs and Persians, never to 
sell a fish until that vessel had been replenished with "Santa 
Croix " or '' Old Jamaica," and he had fortified himself with 
a refreshing draught of its contents. That pleasant exer- 
cise performed, he was then ready for business ; and as he 
was generally very successful in his piscatory excursions to 
the ocean, his pockets were well lined with cash on his 
return home. An intelligent traveller from the South, who 
had visited the market with the landlord of the Eastern 
Stage House, (now the Franklin House,) gave a sketch of 
him in a letter to a Southern journal, which was copied into 
Turell's Commercial Advertiser. When it was read to him 
on the morning it appeared, by a grocer in the neighbor- 
hood, he chanced to be in an unusually good humor, having 
had remarkable luck in his fishing the previous night, and 
promised to " give the feller a drink from his cocoanut," if 
he ever came again to Portsmouth. 

Another of the fixtures of the ^sh market was Lewey, 
an Italian, I think, by birth, a small man, and always, from 
some infirmity, seen in a stooping posture. One day when 
the market was rather bare of fish, and Lewey's stock con- 
sisted only of a few perch, that inveterate wag, George 
Schafifer accosted him with the enquiry, "Why do you have 
so many of these sharp fins in your fish ? One might as 
Avell undertake to eat a paper of pins." " I no put de fins 
in de fiss — I no make 'em," was the reply. " If you want 
'em, I cut 'em out." And George having had his joke, and 
willing to pay a trifle for it, acceded to his proposal to the 
amount of a dozen, which he gave away a few minutes later 
to a worthy old lady, with a very light purse, who had come 
to market in pursuit of a dinner. 

Among the habitues of the market, was a lady, of ele- 
phantine dimensions, bearing the name of Gillett, who was 
famed as a vender of unusually long sticks of candy, the 
advantage of which quality, was thought by a portion of 



280 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

her youthful customers to be more than overbalanced by 
the amount of sediment they contained. Her family man- 
sion was situated not far off, on the rear of a lot on Bow 
street, where she kept a boarding house of a not very 
ambitious order. Her name was pronounced Gillett, but in 
the ftmcy that some at present have for altering both the 
spelling and pronunciation of the names of their ancestors, 
it would now, probably, be styled Gillette. 

Besides the activity visible about the market, in strange 
contrast with its present deserted aspect, the descent of 
the hill from Bow street was occupied on both sides for 
business purposes. At the left, near Slade's corner, Eunice 
Hoyt could be seen with her baskets of fruit and other 
notions. The very first of the earliest fruits of summer, 
and the last of the latest to be had in the spring, could be 
found among her stock. She knew the contents of every 
fruit garden in Portsmouth and vicinity, and was always on 
the alert, with the ready cash, to tempt some one of the 
owners to dispose of a portion of their earliest products. 
Her store of luxuries had a powerful attraction for the 
youthful fraternity, who, when finances permitted, often 
went far out of the way to pay her a visit on their way to 
school. She did a thriving business, too, in the essence 
trade, of her own and Barsantee's famous manufacture ; 
also in the line of the two-penny ballads — termed ''vairses'' 
by the good joeople from the rural districts — any one of 
which she could furnish, from that peculiarly touching ditty, 
" The Major's Only Son," to " Barbara Allen." 

On the other side of the hill was a range of bakers' 
carts — small vehicles, drawn by hand — bearing the names 
of Plumer, Clapham, and Barry, kept there with an eye to 
the country trade. While the general mauufacture of the 
two former was most in favor, the latter had a monopoly 
of the bun trade, being the only producer of that article. 
" Berry's Buns " were in high favor with the boys, and in 



THE OLD SPRING MARKET. 281 

after 3^ears, in connection with the foreign accent of the 
manufacturer, Avere inseparably associated in memory with 
those red-letter days of their youth, the "general musters " 
at the Plains. 

Farther down the declivity, upon a primitive style of 
table, was a display of New York oysters, which could be 
had until a late hour of the evening. The proprietor of this 
establishment, were he still living, could bear testimon}', in 
one instance at least, to the roguish propensities of Ports- 
mouth boys. A party of a half-dozen youngsters .were in 
the habit o,f meeting together for social chat at a second 
floor room in Market street, and at one of their gatherings, 
when they were in a greatly depressed state for want of 
some species of excitement, a member suggested that one 
of those mammoth packages, a New Orleans sugar hogs- 
head, which emptied of its contents stood at a grocer's 
door at the summit of the hill, should be started downward 
in the direction of the oyster stand, which was unanimously 
agreed to ; and, groping their way through the Egyptian 
darkness of the evening, they proceeded to put the projec; 
into execution. Some minutes afterward, the ringleader 
who chanced to go down to the Spring for a drink, found 
the unfortunate dealer in bivalves in an unwonted state of 
excitement, and after uniting with him in bestowing sundry 
anathemas upon the perpetrators of the outrage, volunteered 
to assist in re-gathering his stock in trade* which lay scat- 
tered over a large space upon the ground. One lad, num- 
bered among the conspirators, has still, I think, a residence 
at Portsmouth, who will be reminded of this, among the 
youthful indiscretions of his early life. 

The last of my schoolboy remembrances of the neigh, 
borhood, is that of a scene of merriment that occurred 
there one afternoon at the expense of one of a couple of 
the hangers-on about the market, Avho had devised a novel 
mode of catching fish in a basket, by means of the hoisting 
19 



282 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

apparatus connected with one of the packet landings. On 
the return of one of them from dinner, he was very sar- 
castic at the want of success, during his absence, on the 
part of his partner, in adding to their stock of the finny 
tribe, recommending that he should devote his talents 
unless he could do better, to some other pursuit. The 
other took it very good-naturedly, and suggested that he 
should try himself, which he proceeded to do, re-adjusting 
the bait and ballast, and letting down the basket with 
considerable flourish into the water. On raising it again, 
to his chagrin and the infinite amusement of a dozen by- 
standers, all it contained was a mammoth sculpin, with a 
block of wood attached by a string to his tail, and one of 
those worthless flounder-shaped fish, with three caudal 
appendages, known as three-tailed bashaws. 



RAMBLE CXXXIII. 



A. step over th.e River — Th.e CelelDrities of Kittery in 
fbrixier clays — The Spinney Fanaily. 

David Spinney died in Eliot Nov, 24:th, 1862, at the age 
of 92 years. He was the last of six brothers, who all lived 
and died old men, after spending years of their lives in 
canoes, and much' of the time three or four miles outside 
of Fort Constitution, fishing. Mr. David Spinney was 
probably the last survivor of the workmen on the U. S. 
Frigate Congress, built here on Badger's Island, 1799. 
The pay roll for the month of August of that year we have 
before us. Mr. Spinney's pay was 58>3 cents. He was 
then 28 years old. The highest pay on the roll of eighty- 
nine men is two dollars per day, and but two master-work- 
men received that sum. The average pay of the whole 
was about 83 cents. 



THE SPIXXEY FAMILY. 



9J?: 



A remarkable incident marked his old ago. Mr. Spin- 
ney's hair, after he became advanced in life, for many years 
had been very white. Within the last few years it all camo 
off, and a new growth of fine silken black hair grew out, 
covering his head (except a part which had been previ- 
ously bald) and so continuing until his death. His wife 
Avas Mary Mariner, sister of that well-known market woman, 
Hannah Mariner. 

There were six of these brothers, nearly all of whom 
lived in the same neighborhood in Eliot, a mile or two 
above Portsmouth Bridge. There Avas Samuel Spinney, 
who died about half a century since. His business was to 
catch lobsters and plaice, and he was ever punctual to his 
post in the market. 

Jeremiah and George were also fishermen. William 
Spinney, however, was not content to be confined to his 
canoe, and was a skipper of a Chebacco boat. 

Then there was John Spinney, or as more generally 
known from the perpetual knit covering of his head, Cap 
Spinney, an account of whom is given in Ramble 132. 

The first of the Spinney family who came to America 
was born in the interior of England, near Manchester. He 
went to Wapping Stairs, near London, and shipped to go 
Cod Hauling, (as fishing was then called,) to the Bay of 
Chaleur, on the northern coast of ■ America. From the 
fishing ground he was carried to the Piscataway by a Capt. 
Fernald, and about the year 1630 he settled in Kittery, Me. 
He was the first schoolmaster of the place, and the ancestor 
of all the Spinneys on the American continent, so far as 
known. [The first one of the name came from Normandy 
to England with William the Conqueror. The name, ac- 
cording to English Heraldry, was three times knighted — 
first " DeSpiny," second " Spiny " and third " Spinney " as 
it is now spelt.] 

There is a legend in the family that after Thomas, the 



284 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

first settler, came over, a brother who had not seen him 
from childhood, emigrated, having no knowledge that his 
brother was living. The new comer landed at Kittery 
Point. Taking his gun one day he struck up through the 
woods on the shore of the river in pursuit of game. He 
came to a small house and asked for refreshments. They 
were provided, and it was not until after some general 
conversation, in which the stranger said he came from the 
same town in England in which the host was born, that the 
name was given and they discovered themselves to be 
brothers. 

, As Thomas Spinney had a grant of 200 acres of land 
and lived on EHot Neck, in 1657, it is probable that he was 
a son of the first settler ; and as the residence of the fam- 
ily is still on the same spot, it has probably never been 
alienated from the name. 

About the year 1690 there appears to have been James, 
Samuel and John Spinney living in Kittery. They were 
probably sons of Thomas. 

Samuel had eight children, Samuel, James, John, Thomas, 
Nathan, David, Jeremiah, and Jonathan. His son John 
married Mary Waterhouse in 1727, and their son John was 
the father of the family of hardy fishermen, the death of 
the last of whom is mentioned at the beginning of this 
Ramble. 

Thomas Spinney, who died in 1850, at the age of 83, and 
Joseph Spinney, who died in 1852, at the age of 83, were 
the sons of Thomas Spinney, and grandsons of (probably) 
John Spinney of 1690. We cannot make out the line dis- 
tinctly from the records. 

The location of the small cottages of the Piscataqua tribe 
of Zebulon was at Eliot Neck, near the site of the old Salt- 
Avorks. Their cottages which, a few years since made a 
small village, are now either enlarged and modernized or 
torn down, so that the appearance of former days, like the 
inhabitants, has passed away. 



OUR -WHARVES. 285 

RAMBLE CXXXIV. 

Our "Wharves — I'rivateeriiag — Tlie IPortsm.ou.th. Kecord. 

Our wharves afford a depth of water sufficient to- float 
the first class ships at low tide without grounding. Church 
hill is on a bluff of perhaps forty feet above the water. In 
former times there were no buildings on the north end of 
Chapel street — and where Deacon Day's store and house 
was afterwards built, and west of it, there was an abrupt 
precipice open by the road side down to the river. It was 
about the year 1790 that Stephen, the only son of Jolm 
Greenleaf, the keeper of the Bell Tavern, was riding with 
full speed in a sleigh from Chapel into Bow street, when 
the sleigh slid round over the precipice and down went the 
horse, sleigh and rider! Our informant w^as present, and 
saw the horse taken up at the market. Strange to say, 
nobody was hurt. We shudder as we now look at the 
place. 

At the present day we do not see the busy wharves, the 
fleets of West Indiamen, the great piles of bags of coffee, 
and the acres of hogsheads of molasses which we used to 
see ; nor do we see Water street crowded with sailors. 
and the piles of lumber and cases of fish going on board 
the West Indiamen for uses in the Tropics. 

But if that day is gone by, we have other occupations, 
and the old town seems as bright and handsome as ever. 

The following will recall to our elder men a glimpse of 
the stiring scenes which some of our people had a part in 
at no very remote day, — and yet how few can say they 
" freshly remember" them I 

Here we are, in the ever memorable year 1812, standing 
on the old wharf at Point of Graves, beholding the first 
privateer fitting out after the declaration of war. That 
schooner is the Nancy, and that man with two pistols in his 



286 RAMBLES ABOUT ^PORTSMOUTH. 

belt, and his vest pockets filled with loose gunpowder, is 
Captain Smart. There is a large company of spectators 
on the wharf looking at the little craft. But off she goes 
to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and like a small spider 
entrapping a bumble-bee, she soon returns with her prize. 

In the last war with England, Privateering was a great 
pursuit. The Privateer Portsmouth of Portsmouth was a 
conspicuous cruising vessel. She was commanded by John 
Sinclair and made a great many valuable prizes. His 
Avidow, a very respectable lady, was still living and resided 
in Brooklyn, New York, in 185G. 

The following are among the Privateers belonging to 
Portsmouth in the war of 1812 : 

Fox, Capts. Handy and Brown. 

Gov. Plumer, Capt, Mudge. 

Harlequin, " E, D. Brown. 

LudloAv, 

Mars, 

Macedonian, " R. Townsend. 

Portsmouth, '^ Sinclair & T. M. Shaw. 

Science, '^ Fernald. 

Squando, " AV. Watson. 

Thomas, '•' Shaw. 

Nancy, " Smart. 

Champlain, 

Liverpool Packet, " Watson. 

The "■ Harpy" hailed from Baltimore — but sailed one if 
not two cruises from Portsmouth, 

The Harlequin was a promising craft, and among her 
crew were sev^eral who had been ship masters. She was 
aiming for great returns. They had been out but a short 
time, when a noble ship hove in sight. The Harlequin bore 
down upon her, and when at a near approach the port holes 
of the enemy were thrown open, they played the Harlequin 
no longer. The prize, which took t/iem, proved to be the 
Bulwark of 74 guns ! 



PRIVATEERING. 287 

If any apology is necessary for men figliting against tlie 
common enemy " on their own hook," it may be found 
perhaps in the great disparity of forces of the contending 
powers. The British fleet comprised lOGO men-of-war, of 
%vhich 800 were in commission. The American navy had 
seven effective frigates, and 12 or 15 sloops-of-war ! 

The disparity is absokitely ludicrous, and yet what glory 
was acquired by our gallant navy ! The fights of the 
Constitution, the Essex, the Enterprise and their noble 
compeers, quite eclipsed in history the deeds of daring 
performed by the Fox, the Portsmouth, the Gen. Arm- 
strong, the Decatur, the young "Wasp, the Yankee, the 
Teazer, the Rolla, the Globe, and a hundred others. 

But in the story of man's boldness and bravery, nothing 
excels the deeds of the American Privateers, in the war of 
1812. The record, however, so far as we know, is very 
slight. There was published in Xew York in 185G, a crude 
and skeleton sketch of them, entitled " History of the 
American Privateers and Letters of Marque," &c. by George 
Coggeshall, captain of a Privateer. 

We Avell recollect, Capt. Tom Shaw as well as Capt. 
Elihu D. Brown, who led two " private armed " ships 
against the commerce of Great Britain. No doubt our 
readers will be interested in the following extracts of the 
work referred to. The book is a valuable addition to the 
History of the United States, though compiled by an old 
sailor of 72 years of age from such materials as he could 
command. Cooper's Naval History perhaps has something 
on the subject, but we know of no other History of the 
American Privateers, — an ample detail of their wonderful 
and romantic daring, bearding the British Lion in his den, 
and capturing his ships on every sea, has yet to be written. 

The affair of the General Armstrong, Capt. Reid, wliich 
was attacked in the harbor of Fayal by two or three Brit- 
ish men-of-war, has been before Congress within a few 



288 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

years for indemnity. The enemy lost more men in their 
attempt to capture her, than in some actions where fleets 
were engaged. She was scuttled by her own crew. 

These private armed vessels appear to have carried 
ahnost invariably a " Long Tom," and besides, from 2 to 
18 guns, and from 50 to 150 men. New York had 26 afloat, 
scouring the seas, Baltimore 18, at one time, in the early 
part of the war ; while Newport, Charleston, Boston, New- 
buryport, Bristol, New London, Salem, Portsmouth and 
otlier ports had their share. 

They were commissioned by the United States " to take, 
burn, sink and destroy the enemy wherever he could be 
found, either on the high seas or in British Ports." 

But the object of ,this article is merely to give Ports- 
mouth as recorded. 

1812, — Ship Richmond, 14- guns, 25 men besides officers, 
400 tons, deeply laden with W. India produce, Avorth 
$200,000, was captured on a voyage from Jamaica to Lon- 
don, snd sent into Portsmouth by the Privateer Thomas. 

Ship Falmouth, 14 guns, 30 men, from Jamaica for Bristol, 
(E.) with a cargo valued at $200,000, was captured by the 
Thomas of this Port and sent into Portsmouth, Aug. 18, 
1812. The privateer sch. Thomas, Capt. Shaw, 11 gunsand 
100 men, and Privateer sloop Science, Fernuld, sailed from 
this port on a cruise. Two other Privateers icere Jiiting out 
at the same time. Sch. Phoebus and Phebe sent into Ports- 
mouth by the Squando of that Port. The Squando was 
only a pink stern schooner. 

The English brig Resolution arrived at Portland a prize 
to the privateer Nancy of Portsmouth. 

Barque Fisher Iroui Rio with a very valuable cargo and 
considerable spice was sent into Portland by the Fox of 
Portsmouth. 

1813 — Brig Mars^ from Jamaica for Halifax,, sent into 
Ports^^outh by the Fo-x. [This was afterwards the priva- 
teer Mars.] 

Ship Dromo, 12 guns, from Liverpool for Halifax, with a 
cargo valued at $70.000„ was &ent into Wiscasset by the 
Thomas, of Portsmouth. 



THE POETSMOUTH EECORD. 289 

A Brig sent into Boothbay by the same, with a very valu- 
able cargo. It is said these two vessels produced the 
captors more than $500,000. 

A Brig was sent into Portsmouth by the Gov. Plumer of 
this port. A Brig was captured and burnt by the Gov. 
Plumer — she was bound from Hull to Halifax. 

Brig Daniel from Waterford to Halifax, laden with provi- 
sions, sent into Portsmouth oy the Gov. Plumer, privateer. 
The noted schr. Liverpool Packet of — guns, carried into 
Portsmouth by the Thomas of that port. Afterwards fitted 
as a Privateer called the the Liverpool Packet, Capt. Wat- 
son. 

Brig Nelly, Cork, for Newfoundland, captured by the 
Fox of Portsmouth, and burnt after disposing of her valua- 
ble articles. 

Sloop Peggy, Greenwhich, for Limerick, captured by the 
same and ransomed. 

Schr. Brother and Sister, captured by the same and burnt. 
Brig Louisa, captured by the Fox and ransomed. Sloop 
Pox, from Liverpool, for Limerick, valuable, captured by 
the Priv^ateer Fox and sent to Norway. (4 more prizes are 
recorded in this chapter to the Fox, but there was another 
of that name from Baltimore, and she may have been the 
vessel.) 

But we grow weary of the task. This was only the first 
year of the war. The oceans of the world swarmed, liter- 
ally swarmed, with Privateers, and British ships were cap- 
tured by hundreds. Our own merchant ships were cooped 
up at home, not daring to face the gauntlet of the British 
naval forces. The sailors who should have manned them, 
gladly turned privateersmen, and thus the war was waged 
till the Peace of 1815. 

We still in imagination see our streets filled with jolly 
privateersmen in groups, with blue ribbons tied around 
their hats inscribed in large letters " Success to the Fox," 
or whatever vessel they were to sail in. And then another 
scene, of the sailors paid off, with so much money that they 
knew not what to do with it. It was one ofthesemen who 
one day near Market Square, put his arm round the neck of 



290 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

a COW, kissed her, and put a five dollar bill in her mouth for 
a cud. They might be seen, too, sporting their parasols, 
and in dresses most ludicrously fine. 

Some men grew rich by the war — they piled thousands 
■upon thousands — but now, ere half a century has passed 
away, scarcely any mark of the riches obtained by priva- 
teering, is visible in their families. Their mansions have 
generally passed into other hands, and their descendants are 
many of them poverty stricken. If Solomon's proverbs on 
fleeting riches had not been written earlier, they might have 
been based on the results of our privateering acquisitions. 



RAMBLE CXXXV. 



Our "Wlaarves — "V^est-Iiadia Trade — Capt. Gilman — 
-A^dnairal IVelson— Eixiperor of Rvissia, &c. 

The Navigation of Portsmouth for twenty years previous 
to 1812 was much more extensive and employed a larger 
fleet of vessels, but of smaller tonnage, than are now owned 
here. It is true the capital now invested is much greater, 
but our ships now are seldom seen here after they are built. 
We will for a moment take a retrospective view of the 
Navigation of Portsmouth some seventy or eighty years 
ago. The- trade was then principally with the West Indias, 
in schooners, and brigs of from 100 to 200 tons. Some of 
these vessels were always at our wharves, either loading 
or discharging. Their outward cargoes were fish, lumber, 
beef, pork, <fec., in the hold and cabin — with a deck load of 
horses, mules, oxen, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, 
&c., and would appear at the wharf when loaded, like a 
farmer's barn-yard, with hay piled up almost to the lower 
yards. Live stock would always pay largely when it could 



THE WEST INDIA TRADE. 291 

be got out safe ; but of this there was only one chance in 
ten. Bad weather will soon clear the decks, and the deck 
load will soon be a-swimming without shore or bounds. 
The return cargoes were rum, molasses, sugar, coffee, &c., 
with some specie. This trade was a great advantage to 
the laboring classes, also to coopers, and fishermen. Our 
wharves from the North End to the Pier, and even to the 
Point of Graves, were lined with vessels, and our commu- 
nity busy and happy. 

This West India trade was however quite a lottery. 
Sometimes good voyages would be made, but oftener losing 
ones ; so that few made fortunes by it, and many became 
bankrupt. One voyage now in mind was considered a good 
one. 

The brig Oliver Peabody, owned in Exeter by Gov. 
Oilman, Mr. Peabody, Col. Gilman Leavitt, and others in 
Portsmouth, the master Capt. Stephen Gilman of Exeter, 
left here in 1803, with a full cargo of lumber, provisions, 
<tc. and a deck load of stock, oxen, sheep, poultry, <fec. 

Capt. Gilman had been about twenty days from Ports- 
mouth, when, concluding b}^ his observation the day before 
he must be in the latitude of the Windward Islands, the next 
morning by day-light found himself surrounded by a large 
fleet of raen-of war. At that time, as our vessels were daily 
captured by a French fleet under the command of Victor 
Hughes, he concluded it was a go7ie case. He soon how- 
ever was released from his fears, for a cutter immediately 
boarded him from the Admiral's Flag Ship, w^ith an officer, 
who stated to him that the fleet in sight was that of Admi- 
ral Nelson blockading the French West India Islands, and 
that he was sent by the Admiral with his compliments, 
saying that his officers had seen him since daylight, and 
they had concluded he had a deck load of live stock, of 
M'hich they w^ere much in want; and also told Capt. G if 
he would go on board with him, the Admiral would pur- 



292 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

chase his deck load at his own price. He accordingly 
went ; the Admiral received him in his cabin and treated 
him with a glass of wine and great politeness, and after the 
price of the stock was settled, gave orders to his Purser to 
pay him the amount, which he did in Spanish dollars. 
Capt. G. then returned to his brig, and the stock was taken 
on board the fleet. Capt. Oilman would often after his re- 
turn home relate his interview with Nelson, with much sat- 
isfaction : said he was a man about five feet in height, of a 
very gentlemanly, and polite appearance, with only one arm, 
and limping considerably in walking, from a wound received 
in the knee. He said he thought him a handsome man, and 
considered him between thirty and forty years old. This 
was about two years before the battle of Trafalgar — where 
Nelson lost his life. 

Admiral Nelson told Capt. Gr. he had liberty to go to any 
Island and dispose of the balance of his cargo. This ho 
soon did, and returned home with full cargo of West India 
produce, and 10,000 Spanish dollars for his deck load. His 
outward cargo was invoiced at $5,000. 

It was not unusual to see twenty or thirty vessels loading 
for foreign ports in Portsmouth at one time. We also had 
a number of vessels engaged in the Russia, South America, 
and some in the India trade. 

In the year 1802 William Gra}^, Esq., then of Salem, 
(often called Billy Gray,) loaded a number of ships here 
for India. They took in spars and naval stores. The 
specie carried out was brought from Boston in large wag- 
ons and put up in small iron-bound kegs. These ships 
usually returned to Boston. 

Portsmouth had merchants in the India trade. Col. James 
Sheafe and Matthew S. Marsh, Esq., father of George M. 
Marsh owned two or three ships in this line. They built 
a ship on Peirce's Island in 1804, and sent her to India. 
Messrs. N. A. & J. Haven also sent one there called the 
Hamilton. 



THE EMPEROE OF RUSSIA. 293 

Nearly seventy years since, Capt. Charles Coffin, in con- 
nection with Thomas Sheafe, was engaged in the Russian 
trade. In one of his voyages he took a black man as a 
steward. Soon after the vessel was in port, there was a 
grand military display of troops to be reviewed by the 
Emperor. The steward requested permission to go on 
shore to witness the pageant. He was not aware that a 
black man had rarely been seen in Russia, and was surprised 
to find that himself and the Emperor became the observed 
of all observers. Nor did the Emperor himself overlook 
liira. The next day a messenger was sent to Capt. C. by 
order of the Emperor, asking if the services of the black 
man could be obtained for the Royal household. Capt. 
Coffin offered to dispense with the steward's services if he 
could better his condition, and the black man in due time 
became a Royal butler, and being faithful, was distinguished 
in his position. A few years after, our informant says, he 
saAv him in the streets of Portsmouth, with gold-laced dress, 
silk stockings, etc., returned to take to Russia his ebony 
wife and their dark diamonds, to sparkle in the outer court 
of the Autocrat. 

The trade to Russia, Sweden, South America, Liverpool, 
&c. was then good : iron, hemp, and duck were imported 
from Russia and Sweden, as none of these goods were then 
of American production; and hides and tallow from Monte- 
video and Buenos Ayres. The trade to Liverpool and 
Bristol was considerable. Messrs. Abel & Robert Harris 
then OAvned a ship called the Bristol-Packet, which run 
regularrly to Bristol with cargoes of flax-seed, pot and pearl 
ashes, and some lumber. These men have now all passed 
away from us, as well as the trade they prosecuted. Some 
of them have left large estates, which we daily see in the 
substantial brick buildings and stores built by them. 



294: RAMBLES ABOUT TORTSMOUTH. 



RAMBLE CXXXYI. 

Tlie Old 'Welcli House oia IBridge Street — Joliiiiiy 
CunningliaiTL. 

Who that has been through Bridge street in the past 
century, has not noticed the long, low black house, with a 
camel-back ridgepole, end on the street, next South of that 
on the corner of Hanover street? Passing this spot one 
day a few years since, we were surprised to find that the 
house had disappeared, and nothing left but a stout chimney 
with bricks set in clay. 

Of the exact date when this old house was built we have 
no record. The first occupant we can find was Benjamin 
Welch. He was born about 1710, and probably he located 
here as early as 1740. He occupied it in the time of the 
Revolution. There was no house nearer to it on the south 
than the Call mansion ; and on the North and East were 
none nearer. Our old folks can yet remember when this 
house set thus by itself, with several handsome trees on 
the north side, (where the corner house now stands,) under 
■which the patriarchal proprietor might frequently be seen 
sitting, enjoying the clear prospect of Christian shore, before 
any railroad depot or distillery was built, before the first 
grave was made in the old North Burying Ground, or even 
a bridge built where the mill now stands. He too could 
see the full tides by their free ingress, flowing nearly up to 
his premises. 

For many years there was a well curb just inside the 
door on the street, at which the wayfarers, from a spring 
in the cellar, quenched their thirst, and the wants of the 
house were supplied. 

This was a cottage of the olden time — and it probably 
was not wholly without its romance, although its history is 
not all recorded. Before that broad fire-place happy faces 



JOHXXY CUXXIXGHAM. 295 

have shone, and as the story of the "Regulars" has been 
there told, fearful eyes have been looking out to see if they 
were coming. Here '"'olive plants" might be seen around 
the family board. Among the daughters was Betty, whose 
bright eyes and comely person, as well as her pleasant 
manners, were the attraction of the foreign gardener of Col. 
George Boyd. Whether Johnny Cunningham met Betty 
Welch first at the well, or whether he fell in love with 
the cottage in the distance as he tilled the great garden of 
Col. Boyd, (extending from the mill to the depot,) history 
does not inform us, — but the fact that he here won her 
heart and hand is better established. 

Johnny Cunningham, as he was familiarly called when 
the writer knew him, was a small man, his head generally tur- 
baned with his handkerchief, sans suspenders, quick in his 
movements, strong nervous temperament, and very irritable 
at small matters. He was of Irish descent, but found in Eng- 
land by Col. Boyd, and sent here before the Eevolution to 
be his gardener — for which business he had been educated. 
As a penman few could surpass him. We recollect an illus- 
trative anecdote of the old man. He had been at work for 
Maj. Wm. Gardner one day, and presented his bill. Maj. 
G. was struck with the bold beauty of the writing, and 
priding himself on his own skill with his pen, inquired of 
the little rough man, who made out his bill for him ! "'Myself, 
sir." The Major expressed doubts, and to test him, asked 
him to go to his desk and write his name. " Your pienknife, 
if you please," said Johnny. Having adjusted the nib to his 
liking, the pen was applied to the paper, and Maj. Gardner 
soon saw in the freedom and ease with which his letters 
were cut, a penman whom he could not excel. The bill 
was paid, and a dollar extra added as an acknowledgement 
of his skill. 

After Johnny's marriage, the trees on the north of the 
bouse were cut down, and he built the two story house 



296 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

now standing there. How long be occupied it we know not. 
He for many years rented it, and lived in the old house. 
They had one son, Andrew, to whom he gave a good edu- 
cation. He died in early manhood. After the death of his 
wife Betty, he chose to put his effects into the care of the 
town, and take up his residence at the town farm, where he 
had opportunity, under the charge of Superintendent Morri- 
son, to follow his favorite pursuit, gardening, when he lial 
the inclination — and if his hoe or a spade was ever out of its 
place when he wanted it, there would be no peace on the 
farm until the article was found. That bitching up of his 
pants, that extension of the arm, that flash of the eye, and 
that quick expression of irritation Avhen the boys asked of 
him the hour, none who knew him will ever forget. Ha 
died about twenty-five years ago, at the age of 94 years. 
Thus the old house and its inmates have now all passed 
away. 



RAMBLE CXXXVn. 

John Simes aiicl his Descendants. 

On the lot of land on Market street now occupied by the 
stores of C. H. Mendum & Co. and Hill & Carr, in the last 
century stood an old fashioned gambrel-roofed house, with 
a shop on the street, and in which was done as much of the 
dry goods trade as in any other store around it. The 
house was built by Mr. John Simes, the first of the name 
among us, who came from England about 173 6, and located 
on this spot. His land extended west to High street. A 
deed dated in 1760 conveys to two of his grandchildren, 
Elizabeth Hart (afterwards the wife of Rev. Dr. McClintock,) 
and Mary Parker, (widow of Capt. William Parker, and 



JOHN SIMES AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 297 

mother of Capt. Samuel Parker,) children of Humphrey 
Fernald, as probably their share of the estate, the house 
and land on High street, which has long been known as the 
Parker house, and was recently purchased by C. H. Men- 
dum, of the widow of Capt. Samuel Parker. He held other 
real estate at the time of his death, which took place before 
the Eevolution. He left but one son, Joseph Simes — and 
five daughters. One of the daughters married Cyrus Frink 
of Newington, from whom the extensive family of that 
name descended ; another married Humphrey Peavey of 
Newington ; the third married John Nutter of Newington ; 
the fourth married Moses Noble, from whom the family on 
Noble's Island have descended ; the fifth married Humphrey 
Fernald of Portsmouth, the grandfather of John W. Fer- 
nald, who is now the only male descendant in that line. 

Joseph Simes was Chairman of the Selectmen of Ports- 
mouth in 1776, and a highly esteemed citizen. He occupied 
the homestead on Market street till his death, near the close 
of the last century, and after his death the widow con- 
tinued the dry goods business at the same store in the 
house. They had ten children — six sons and four daughters. 
The eldest son John was a painter. His shop was in the 
rear of the house, approached by an avenue, probably the 
same that is now on the north side of Lafayette Laighton's 
store. The other sons were Thomas, landholder and livery 
stable proprietor, the father of Stephen H. Simes ; Mark, 
merchant and postmaster, the father of John D. Simes ; Wil- 
liam, goldsmith, the father of Bray U. Simes ; George, 
landholder and livery stable proprietor, the fatljer of John 
P. and William Simes. Mark, William and George owned 
handsome mansions in the same neighborhood on Court 
and State streets. 

The daughters were Ann, the wife of Capt. Martin Parry, 
and mother of the first wife of late William Jones ; Mary, 
wife of Capt. Thomas Lunt; Hannah, wife of George 
Massey ; and Elizabeth, who was unmarried. 
20 



298 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Our older citizens well remember the mother of the largo 
family when she sold English goods on Market street, 
not on quite so large a scale as some of her descend- 
ants, but large for the times. Mrs. Simes was highly 
respected for her many virtues. Habits of industry and 
enterprise had a marked influence on . the children and 
grandchildren of this family, which is not yet eradicated. 
Of John Simes's six children, and his son's ten children, 
fifteen were married and settled in Portsmouth and its 
vicinity. Of their descendants many are now located 
among us, and are making their mark in the world — but 
" our fathers, where are they." 



EAMBLE CXXXVIII. 

Toppin. !IMax\vell — " CoinixLOclore " IN^Iiffliia. 

The following from the pen of Rev. T. H. Miller, gives a 
true and graphic sketch to which most of our citizens who 
are over fifty years of age can attest. The tannery ex- 
tended from the foot of Deer street, near where the Con- 
cord Railroad depot is now located, to Parker street. Th© 
site of the windmill is the very spot where is now the 
engine bonse of the Concord <fe Portsmouth Railroad. 

Why such a man ever drifted away from sweet Ireland^ 
where he was born, or why he happened to drift into the 
old harbor of Piscataqua, in which he lived, and on whose 
shores he died, your deponent knoweth not and therefore 
sayeth not. But the fact that he did drift away from the one 
and into the other is about as well established as any similar 
fact can be ; inasmuch as the writer in his boyhood has 
often paddled in the water (not to mention the mud) which 
surrounded the Maxwell mansion, rendering the whole do- 



TOPPIX MAXWELL. 299 

main a landscape very much like a sketcb of Noali's vie\y 
from his window, shortly after the ark rested. That he had 
drifted up the harbor and was moored to the shore thus, 
rests on the testimony of an eye witness. Tliat he had 
drifted away from the green isle was no less manifest to 
every ear w^iich listened for once to the richest and most 
unctuous brogue that ever rattled from the tongue of a 
native. 

But — but — the reader may ask, how and why did he live 
in the harbor when land Avas plentiful all around it, and 
when a little money would have given him a dry acre ? 
The ivhy of this question can only be guessed at ; the Jioiu 
will soon be plain to the mind of the reader, almost to his 
eye. Perhaps the reason Avh}^ he planted himself in a mud- 
hole on the flats was, that such alot, being worth little, cost 
little ; or that, being a tanner, he was not afraid of water ; 
or that, being an old bachelor, he thought it was not much 
matter where he lived. It might be any one of these 
reasons ; or it might possibly be all of them together ; for 
he loved money, he was an excellent tanner, and he never 
married. Or it might be none of them. Por, as " there is 
no disputing about tastes," he might deem his location the 
most delightful and desirable of all the lovely spots on our 
shores. If this was so, one happiness he doubtless en- 
joyed, viz : a home which no one envied him in the pos- 
session. And, though probably nobody else thought so, 
he always acted as if he thought it the best place in the 
world. 

Let no one infer from the hint about Noah, that Maxwell's 
ark rested on Mount Ararat, or any other mount, whence he 
came dowm at certain seasons to enjoy himself in the mud, or 
disport himself in the water like a dolphin. No sports had 
he, that his neighborhood knew of, but work, work, work, 
was his practice, whatever might be his theory. And his 
ark was at once shop and house, tannery and palace. The 



300 ^ RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

harbor of Piscataqua abounds in bays, great and little, in 
creeks and inlets of all sizes. One of these creeks, for- 
merly deep enough for ship-building on its banks, was 
turned into a tide-pond a hundred years ago, by the erec- 
tion of Levis's mills, and on the shore — no, in the shore of 
this pond, at its south eastern extremity, Toppin Maxwell 
built his castle exactly at the point which sailors call " be- 
tween wind and Avater." Small and frail it was at first, and 
at every spring-tide, when the winds blew and the floods 
came, the neighbors' eyes were turned that way to see it 
go off; but it did not go, and from year to year, as 
he threw out much tan from his pits, but sold none, his 
land emerged from the tide, as Venus did from the sea. 
Now and then a stray log, a waif from the waters came 
along ; it was moored, and very gradually but certainly 
buried ; and by a slow process, as some geologists describe 
creation, dry land appeared, drier and drier, wider and 
wider, till a goodly lot, like Boston on a small scale, had 
emerged from the Avater, and none but the highest tides 
dared show their heads above it. As land and money grew 
in his hands, so did buildings rise. Addition upon addi- 
tion, patch upon patch, were hitched together, incongruous 
and inconvenient, but the owner was a conservative, and 
would throw nothing away. lie built stronger and stronger, 
and always at some cost, till he had a large building. 
Then all at once a new idea shot across the mind ; he would 
have a wind-mill to grind his bark. This he had done be- 
fore by a horse, and sometimes hired it done at a water- 
mill ; but now, quoth he, "I'll have a wind-mill, and grind 
for meself and for half the toon." 

Big with this one idea, he took no counsel of flesh and 
blood as to the expediency of the proposed measure, but 
went about the work like a man determined to be "su- 
preme over his accidents. Money would buy lumber, and 
hire workmen. He bought and hired the best. But money 



TOPPIN MAXWELL. 301 

would not buy true ideas, either in castle building or the 
building of wind-mills. On this latter subject Toppin 
Maxwell had ideas of his own, which he thought cost 
nothing, but which in the end proved to be very valuable, 
if articles are to be prized at their cost. Remonstrances 
from the workmen or bystanders as to the style of the 
building, were overruled in a summary manner. He would 
build the mill to suit himself, and so he did. It was framed 
strongly enough for a den of lions, and braced so as to resist 
the most tempestuous wind. Should the top of the mill be 
rotary, so as to meet all the winds, as wind-mills usually 
are ? " No," was the answer ; " make it fast facing the 
northwest; that's the strongest wind that blows here."' 
And so it was done. 

Every thing was finished to his mind ; and when the 
wind blew from the favorite quarter, the wooden sails 
moved round, and turned the iron mill and ground the 
bark — but it was not perfect. The machinery was heavy 
and clumsy ; and except in a high wind it would scarcely 
move. The arms were now made as long as they could be 
without striking the ground, and the width of the fans was 
doubled. Now the mill went well with a high nor'-wester; 
but too furiously with a stiff topsail breeze ! What was 
the remedy ? Take in sail, reef the fans, says some green 
reader. Alas, that was impossible ! for two reasons — 
first, you could not throw the mill out of the wind to get 
hold of the sails ; and second if you got hold of them you 
could not take them in, for instead of cloth they were made 
of boards, nailed fast to strong timbers. The only way to 
stop the mill was to choke it with bark, rammed into the 
hopper by armfuls. Of course it would not always 
stay choked, but would start off again and run round 
like a thing of life, compelling Toppin and his work- 
men, or boys, not exactly to make hay while the sun shone, 
but to grind bark while the wind blew. After a windy day 



302 RAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

sometimes would come a windier night, and then tliey would 
grind till they were tired, choke the mill as well as they 
Gould and go to bed. About the time they go't warm 
and dozy, the breeze would freshen, the mill start, and the 
music begin — jingle, jingle-rattle, rattle — whiz, whiz, 
whiz-z-z. '' Out of bed;, all hands — the mill is agoing, it 
will soon be on fire." *' Will ye — nill ye " up they must 
get, and grind or choke as best they could, while the 
breeze lasted. 

In the winter, north-west breezes often swell to gales; 
lasting two or three days. One day and one night the mill 
had ground and ground and groaned — another day passed 
and a second night drew 6n : the pile of bark went dowre 
rapidly, but the wind did not go down at all — on the con- 
trary it seemed to rise. Every body Avas tired and sleepy, 
and disc6tiraged. Orders were given to stop the mill ; but 
it was easier told than done,* however, in a lull of the 
wind the wheels were brought to a stand — the lights were 
put out, and all hands went to bed. They might sleep, but 
not long, for a flaw started the mill, and the mill roused the 
sleepers. "Wide awake, and cross enoughy they choked and 
clogged the machine as best they could, and when at last 
it stood still, they sought repase once more. But the gale 
increased ; and as the fla'ws became more violent, away 
went the mill again. This was too much. Breathing out 
threatenings, the man of the house not only called the 
hands, but arose himself, reE5olved like Don Quixote, to 
have a tilt with the Avind mill; but not like the redoubtable 
Don, to come off second best and sneak off in his Avounds. 
No, not he ! There Avas the machine with Avide-spread 
Avings revolving in hot haste, hotter and hotter, making all 
gee again. No time Avas to be lost. He seized the first 
AVeapon that came to hand — a heavy iron croAv bar— and^ 
|)oising it Avitli his stahrart arm upraiisedy as ligMy ds a 
dandy flourishes his rattan, lie stepped upon the |)latforHsi^ 



TOPPIN MAXWELL. 303 

and, suiting the action to the word, roared out, '' There ! 
(with an oath too big to put in print,) see if I can't stop ye !" 

Down went the crowbear among the teeth — round went 
the mill one whole turn, swallowing the crowbar, and bend- 
ing the strong iron like a piece of cap wire — but the meat 
was too hard to digest, and like the Baylonish Dragon after 
eating the pitch, the mill burst asunder. The shaft broke, 
one or two fans broke and fell off, and every thing came up 
with a jerk. One grand crash and all was still — so still that 
it never moved again. All hands slept soundl}^ that night, 
and for all the noise made by the mill, they might have 
slept till this time. This Avas Toppin's last scheme. He 
went back to the horse mill ; backward in many of his 
affairs ; and without living to be very old or very rich, he 
some forty years since passed off the stage. Peace to his 
ashes; he made room for greater men — we were going to 
say wiser, but let that pass. Corporations which he never 
heard of, machines and inventions he never drearapt of, 
occupy his old tanner's paradise. A steam mill made of 
his house has since ground bark where his wind-mill broke 
down — a steam tannery now does in a ^eek what he used to 
do in a year — steam cotton mills are planted on the 
shores of his pond — tho pond itself is cut up with a mul- 
titude of railroad tracks — the telegraph near by speaks of 
new things — and old men and old things are rapidly for- 
gotten. 

This biography is written merely for the love of the 
thing — no chick nor child nor friend of Toppin is there left 
to reward t!ie writer for giving their relative a good char- 
acter, — nor foes, that we wot of, to exult over a bad one — 
but hundreds of men in middle life there are, who can see 
his round, rosy faco, and portly bulk once again, as in a 
glass — and then, perhaps, think of him no more. But then 
he had his uses, his aims, his purposes, his thought and 
life — and who can say that such an one as he had no place 



304 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

in the divine and beneficent plans of the great overruling 
Providence, or that he did not fill it? If any think or say 
so let them do it better. 

A character, quite as prominent on the shores of the 
North Mill Pond, has furnished the subject for another 
sketch from the same writer. We refer to Commodore 
Mifflm. 

The title was honorary or fanciful, but the name was 
real, and Mr. MifSin lived and labored in Portsmouth 
through a long life and died something more than forty 
years ago. 

He lived in Rock Pasture. Well, where's that? No 
where, now ; because the Rocks are gone, and the pasture 
also, for though the land remains, it is now cut \\p into 
streets and squares, occupied with houses, shops, mills 
and iron works. But Rock Pasture did extend, in Commo- 
dore MifBin's day, from where the west end of the Ports- 
mouth Steam Factory now stands, to the westerly side of 
Cabot street, and from Islington street to the North Mill 
Pond. 

On the bank of this pond stood the Mifflin mansion, 
on the spot where is the house and former home of Capt. 
Robert Shillaber, and close to the Partington estate : for 
strange as it may seem, be it known to the moderns, that 
while the middle of the pasture was bare of buildings, the 
water lots, or rather mud lots, on the shore, were all occu- 
pied by houses, from the Partington mansion down to 
'Squire Adams's wharf. 

On the pond swam and fished Mr. Mifflin's geese, that 
healthy, vigorous, never-failing flock, whose memory is 
honored in a poem of Benj. P. Shillaber, the medium 
through whom the Partington spirit's utterances are given 
to the sons of earth. 

And they fed, as they listed, on the green grass which 
carpeted the moist even surface of the pasture, during the 



" COMMODOEE " MIFFLIN. 305 

livelong summer, fearless alike of stone throwing bojs and 
impertinent dogs, both of whom (?) stood in wholesome 
fear of the old gander's prowess : for verily he had been 
victorious in many a battle ere these youthful men and 
dogs had come upon the stage. 

When the ground became frozen, or was covered with 
snow, and commons were short, .the geese would march, in 
the most exact military order, down through the town to 
the Parade (now vulgarly called Market Square,) where in 
those days there used to be many teams from the country, 
and where many grains, and sometimes quarts, of corn, 
oats, and hayseed were scattered by the oxen and horses. 

When the geese had eaten what they could find, and 
sometimes received a few slashes from the teamsters' 
w^hips, they would rise and fly to their home, clearing the 
tops of trees and houses, and arriving safe. 

But leaving the geese, let us go back to the Commodore, 
inquiring what manner of man he was, and why he was 
called Commodore. 

James H. Mifflin, so he wrote his name in a plain and bold 
round hand, was a military man, an English soldier, said to 
be born in London, educated in the blue coat school, and 
enlisted in the British army, in which he fought at the 
battle of Bunker's Hill. 

The story used to run that he was Avounded there, 
though w^e never heard liirfi say so ; but by some mischance 
he became a prisoner, arid preferring to stay in this country 
he was not exchanged, but came to Portsmouth, married 
and settled here, where he lived and died, and where some 
descendants now live. 

His occupation here was that of a mason's tender ; i. e. 
he made mortar and carried bricks, and in his day Avas 
deemed one of the best in that business. 

On training days, when our land forces took the field, 
Mr. Mifflin, as waiter to the field and staff officers, made 



306 RAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

fine appearance. Erect and soldierlike, with hat in Land, 
head well powdered, his clothes all antique, and his well- 
preserved blue coat adorned with large brass buttons, he 
■was hardly less conspicuous than Gen. Storer himself. 

Our hero lived, as the reader will remember, on the 
bank of the North Mill Pond. Indeed in that day, the 
house was nearly at the water's edge, and as he built no 
wharf, a storm would now and then dig a hole in the bank, 
and the winds and waves threaten the mansion itself; but 
to preserve the premises from these perils, the bank was 
thickly planted with the good old-fashioned Balm of Gilead 
trees, to break off the winds, and a great pine log, belong- 
ing to P.obert Ham, was laid alongside at high water mark 
moored and staked, to break the force of the waves. 

In those days, almost every housekeeper carried or sent 
his own bushel of corn to the mill, — -and several- of the 
Eock Pasture people had canoes, floats or skiffs in which 
they navigated the pond for this and other purposes. 

Mr. Mifflin had a canoe, something like the western dug- 
out of a later day, which he kept tied to the log, and which 
was shaded by the trees. The boys of the neighborhood 
"ivere apt to borrow boats without leave, and once in a while 
would take his. "When they did so, his lion-like voice rung 
out over the pond, and the boys coming as near as they 
dared, would shove in the boat, and jumping overboard, go 
ashore elsewhere, glad to escape. 

This watchfulness induced other owners to put theil' 
boats under his watchful eye ; and thus quite a fleet was 
moored to his log. The joiners' and masons' apprenticej 
boys, among whom he labored for years, dubbed him Com- 
modore, and he answered to the title. In those days labor- 
ers drank spirits ; and the Commodore labored and drank 
heartily. His voice, always loud, grew louder as the day 
declined, and at sundown, when any one, as he passed ad- 
dressed him as Commodore Mifilin,he responded. Sir! ! in 
one that might ring through a battalion. 



MY BROTHER BOB. 307 

Like a true Englishman, lie would not speak of bis mili- 
tary life, except in answer to questions, — but the militar}^ 
steps, positions and motions, and habits of his youth, were 
part of his life, and endured as long as he lived. 



RAMBLE CXXXIX. 

]VIy Brotliei' Bob". 



The genuine truthfulness of the following story, from ih6 
genial pen of our old towrismau, B. P. Shillaber, Esq., as 
well as its lively account of no less a character than Com- 
modore M:ifflin or Toppin Maxwell, induces us to give it as 
one of the Rambles. Like the two above named, " My 
Brother Bob '" had his home on the South shore of the 
Korth Mill Pond. 

It was the remark of a distinguished orator who once 
discoursed about the Father of his Country, that '' G-. 
Washington was not a loud boy." I may, with some pro- 
priety, apply the same remark to my brother Bob. He is' 
not a " loud boy," in the sense wherein the tferm loud 
might be supposed to apply. He does not stand at the 
street corners and brawl, to the disturbance of neighbor- 
hoods; he has no particular fancy for the boisterous; but 
he is a quiet man, full of good sense, practical to a fault, 
honest, plain spoken, industrious, prudent. He possesses 
very little of the ornate or ornamental, and yet he attracts 
by qualities the opposite of those which usually contro 1. 
A hardy, gnarled, rough man, yet he is respected more for 
his integrity of character, and the qualities enumerated/ 
than hundreds who wear far better clothes arid make more 
pretension to refinement. Bob is not an Adonis, for per- 



308 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

sonal grace is not a quality much to be vaunted of in our 
family, compensation being found in those excellences 
which the best people discern. 

My brother Bob is a character, and from the earliest 
point to which my memory recurs, he has maintained the 
same position in the estimation of the people as now. It 
will not do to call him an old man yet; and though years 
have severely tussled with him, and taken a little away 
from his elasticity, it has added to his wisdom, and less 
impulsiveness characterizes his speech and actions. For 
instance, he would scarcely now do as he did years ago, 
when the little boy was drowned in the pond near which 
lie lived : — throw his clothes off piece b}^ piece as he ran to 
the rescue, and almost naked venture among the crackling 
and brittle ice, breaking beneath his every movement, in 
his humane endeavor. That half hour of fruitless effort, 
in the eyes of the assembled town, covered him Avith 
glory— the only covering he had, until his clothes were 
brought him, and he had made his toilet on the hard-set ice, 
within a few yards from where the poor boy met his fate- 
Neither would he do as he did at the time the boys got up- 
set in the boat, when Avith no other means of rescue than a 
half-hogshead tub, he gallantly pushed from the shore to aid 
them. With a bold spirit, actuated by the Avarmest feel- 
ings, Bob had no thought of danger or reward, though he 
sometimes found compensation in shaking those whom he 
benefitted for the trouble they had caused him ; and there 
were frequent opportunities. * 

He Avas always a favorite of the boys, and his boat on 
Wednesday and Saturday afternoons Avas an object of great 
competetion, for he had aAvater privilege then on the pond, 
which a railroad many years since cut off, leaving Bob 
minus a small income, and a prospective suit against the 
corporation, in case they refuse to compensate. I can re- 
call many instances of juvenile charter parties for naviga. 



MY BROTHER BOB. 309 

tion upon the North Mill Pond at such times, and Bob was as 
well pleased in their sport as though he were not to receive 
the dime, or less, in payment. Grave and busy men, often, in 
referring to those times, make mention of that dear delightful 
sail upon the little pond, then, however, larger considerably 
than the Atlantic, and speak of Bob in the kindliest spirit 
of remembrance, recalling him by some amusing anecdote 
that gave a zest to the good old time. But there were 
times when he would swear like a tornado, if such express- 
ion may be employed, when juvenile depredators attempted 
to overreach him; and it has been said that in his earlier 
days there was more profanity in him to the square inch 
than in any one around. This, however, has changed for 
the subdued temper that years bring with them, and but 
moderate scope is allowed for passion. 

Speaking of this, I was wont to try him fearfully in the 
olden time, and well did I rue it in the lofty indignation 
that fired him ; but now, a right philosophy that submits, 
murmurless, to destiny, governs his conduct to me. This 
must be the case, else would he denounce me for my failure 
to answer his letters, and the other indignities of neglect 
and silence. Even when he called upon me in town in the 
drive of business, and I begged him, for heaven's sake,'to 
go till I was at leisure — a rudeness which I repented of in 
dust and ashes — he turned without a complaint, and I did 
not see him again for six months. In reply to an abject 
apology I made, he said it was all right ; he knew me well 
enough to believe that I was actuated by right motives, and 
he had no cause to fret about it. I wish, for myself, that 
such understanding' could more universally prevail ; that, 
when in our honesty we use a friend in this manner, he 
might not imagine an offence and abuse us for the virtue of 
candor, which may be the only one we have. 

Candor is a virtue which Bob especially possesses. He 
was entrusted for many years with the care of the Court 



310 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

House, in the town wliere he lives, and was intimate with 
those comprising the Bench and Bar ; Pierce, Christie, 
Hackett, Marston, Hayes, Eastman, Harvey, by all of whom 
he Avas held in high regard — one of them, who was after- 
President, having borrowed money of him, upon which he 
based a claim for an office under his administration, that ho 
didn't get. He was, as I have intimated, not a very dressy 
person, therein proving an exception to a rule of our fam- 
ily, and strangers underrated him on account of it, A plain 
suit of clothes, perhaps a green baize jacket, his collar 
turned back, cravatless, revealing his stout neck, presented 
an appearance somewhat different from the beau monde, 
but it was tolerated by ail those who were not more nice 
than wise. There was but one who ever attempted to 
meddle with him on this point, and he tried it but once. 
Bob knew everything that had ever transpired in town. It 
was said of him by an admirer, somewhat irreverently, that 
he was next to Omniscience in penetrating human secrets. 
He had an intuition that was infallible, and could read men 
like a book. Concerning this one alluded to, Bob had ob- 
tained the fact that he was owing a large tailor's bill in town, 
about which there was some fear. As Bob entered the 
Court House one morning, there was an extra number of 
lawyers present, and the individual named among them. 
" There, gentlemen," said he, pointing to the green jacket 
and the open shirt collar, " there is a dress in which to 
associate with gentlemen !" " True," replied Bob very 
quietly ; " I don't dress very well, but if I had gone down 
to Snip's and run in debt for my clothes, I might have ap- 
peared as well as you do." This was a stunner, so tp 
-speak, and Bob was declared the winner by a full bench. 

He was always ready with replies that had a salutary 
smart in them. Though an early and ardent Jackson man, 
in honor of whose inauguration he illumined his house from 
attic to cellar in 1S29, and inheriting the Democratic chart 



MY BEOTHEE BOB. 311 

in politics, he turned over to the free soil side of the ques- 
tion, for which he was abused by those with whom he had 
previously acted. About this time a movement was made 
against the banks of his State, and Bob, having a few shares 
of bank stock, took a decided stand in support of the 
banks, against his old associates. " Well, Bob," said one of 
these, "I hear you have gone over to the enemy. That's 
just the way ; as soon as a man gets a dollar's worth of 
bank stock and a house to his back, off he goes among the 
aristocracy." Bob was all the time pursuing his Avork of 
grafting trees — he is a famous grafter, and buds will grow 
if he but look at them — and onl}^ stopped long enough to 
to say : ''Adze, if you paid less attention to politics and 
more to your business, you might pay off that mortgage on 
your house in a little while." Adze made no further 
remark. 

Bob's idea of family discipline would hardly be adopted 
yet, though we are fast gaining on it. All great ideas 
have found the course slow before they are established. 
He has bad a fine family of children, though they have 
become divided — some here and there, and some yonder^ 
beyond the reach of earthly eare and sorrow. When they 
were young, he was asked the question if he ever flogged 
them. " Flogged them !■" said he in a tone half indignant ; 
" no, that would be too cowardly, I am going to wait till 
they are big enough to strike me back, and then pitch in. 
It is mighty mean business to strike a child," 

He has filled offices of trust and emolument, but has been 
more distinguished for those he didn't fill. He has been 
captain of an engine, fence-viewer, constable, and keeper 
of the court-house, the latter of which offices he now holds 
in connection with that of messenger to the Fire Depart- 
ment. He was invaluable on election days, before his town 
was divided into Avards ; and stationed by the polls, no man 
passed that he did not know — that fact being regarded as 



312 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

prima facie and sufficient evidence that the unknown one 
had no right to vote. They might do away with the check 
list in the town and no inconvenience be experienced. How 
he does now, I don't know, but have no doubt that at the 
last election he exercised the same watchfulness over the 
ballot-box of his ward. 

He is well posted in the news of the day, but living so 
far from Boston, he receives his paper but twice a week. 
Asking him how he liked this, he replied that he liked it 
very well, for he had found that news was like beef steak, 
much better after it had been kept a little while. 

This little matter of personal biography may recall the 
individual to the memory of many. It is the story of a 
little life, rather than a large one, but it has been Dsefully 
and honorably spent. I know no stigma that attaches to 
his name. Odd, rough, abrupt, he proves in a thousand 
ways, that sterling stuff rests beneath the at times forbid- 
bing exterior of My Bkother Bob. 



When I published the first paper describing the peculi- 
arities and idiosyncracies of My Brother Bob, there were 
those who said I had not given the world the best illustra- 
tions of his character — each one of them having some pet 
anecdote of his own that should have stood luminous in 
the foreground. There are indeed many such that might 
be told, and to present a few more features of a similar 
character I have been induced to venture this paper. 

I believe I hinted in my previous sketch that Bob was 
meditating a suit against a railroad for damages in cutting 
off certain privileges. This he has actually commenced, 
and a vigorous fight he is making of it, with a certainty of 
winning if justice is at all regarded. The specifications in 
his claim are very funny. They are more savory than 
elegant, and I cannot use them here, but the close is a tri- 



MY BROTHER BOB. 313 

nmpli of magnanimity and a number of other virtues. He 
says if the directors of the road will only come and endure 
for eighteen or twenty years what he has done— the villan- 
ous smells and noises and sights, the interrupted view by 
day and the interrupted rest by night — and then refuse to 
allow him the modest amount he demands, he will pay it to 
them. This, however, needs the choice strong words of 
Bob's vocabulary to give it due force. His rhetoric is 
unapproachable in its distinctness and point. While on the 
stand as a witness in this case, he was asked if there was 
not a mutual dislike betwixt him and some other party of 
the opposition. He said there was not, '^ Do you deny, 
sir," said the lawyer for the Road, '' that there is a mutual 
dislike between you?" "I do," said Bob, " mpst deci- 
dedly ; he has a dislike for me, but I hate him." I am sorry 
to record the fact, but the distinction is very nice, and I 
cannot omit the incident though it tell against him. 

One of our most honored and respected naval officers 
asked me the other day if I was the brother of my Brother 
Bob, which was at once an introduction to a most delight- 
ful acquaintance. Bob had been his right hand man in 
beautifying and adorning his grounds, and if a plant by any 
chance didn't grow, it wasn't Bob's fault ; Nature had to 
bear all the responsibility of the failure. But they rarely 
failed. There was such a thorough understanding betwixt 
liim and them that they seemed to make up their minds to 
flourish at once after he had looked at them. Like the 
housewife who was boiling soap and kept it from boiling- 
over by the force of her will, saying it didn't dare to, so 
they didn't dare depart from the directions he gave them. 
There always seemed a trembling among the more sensitive 
of the vines when he went through them for fear that they 
had transgressed in some way. He is wonderful in graft- 
ing. Grapes from thorns and figs from thistles are no 
impossibilities with Bob. 
21 



314 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

At tlie commencement of the war when gold took its 
first start, Bob had some hundred dollars or so in gold 
pieces that he had put by for a rainy day. No one who 
knows him will accuse him of extravagant practices, and 
his economy has enabled him to secure a respectable pile, 
the gold being simply the dust that rolled off in the piling. 
He saw the rise one per cent. ! two per cent. ! three per 
cent. ! *' It must be down to-morrow," thought Bob, as he 
counted over the ingots, like the broker of Bogota. But 
no; the next day it. was four, and Bob grew nervous. 
Then it was five — six — and, at seven, he could contain him- 
self no longer, but put his yellow boys in the hands of 
Discount, the broker, who gave him seven dollars in green- 
backs on the hundred. The next day it leaped to ten and 
in a very short time it was up to fifty, at Avhich time he told 
me the story of his want of shrewdness. There was one 
thing, however, to comfort him. As to every deep there 
is a lower deep, so if we but think that to every misery or 
disappointment there is a greater, we gain comfort and 
thank heaven it is no worse. So reckoned Bob. "Why," 
said he, with a tone of great satisfaction, " there were some 
fools here that sold at four.'" 

The idea of being outwitted pained him most. There is 
one man in his town whose shrewdness he holds in the high- 
est respect. He marvels at the positive genius he shows in 
his operations. It is to ordinary shrewdness Avhat the 
genius of Sherman is to common clodhoppers in the science 
of Avar. It was Bob's fortune to sell him some hay by the 
lot, at tlie shrewd man's own valuation, who a few days 
afterwards came to Bob with a long face, telling him that 
the hay fell short about one hundred pounds, and asked 
allowance for it. Bob told him he should make none. 
" Well," said the genius, ''I will tell it, all round town, that 
you cheated me." " Do it," said Bob, '^ by all means ; only 
let it get about that I was sharp enough to cheat you, and 
my fortune is made." 



MY BEOTHER BOB. 315 

There is no man more loyal than my brother Bob. He 
has a bright eye on the conduct of the war, and criticises 
everything with the sharpest discrimination. No one is 
exempt from his strictures, were he a thousand times his 
friend. At a time of terrible inertness in the ai'ray, Avhen 
.active service seemed suspended forever. Bob was terribly 
•exercised about it. He was engaged in his garden, and his 
spade went into the soil as if lae were throwing up en- 
trenchments. " Dead enough," said he, as he worked his 
spade by some obstacle ; '^ dead enougli ; why, a defeat 
would be better than this." There were certain emphatic 
words interspersed that gave the sentence a gothic mas- 
isiveness. 

My Brother Bob comes to town but seldom, holding the 
■city in but poor esteem. The sun rises here, as he avers, 
when he stops over long enough to prove it, in the south 
west and sets he don't know where. He has never seen the 
great organ yet and says he don't want to, which is an 
offence not to be forgiven. His early musical education, 
however, was neglected, which may be submitted in palli- 
ation. "When asked during a visit which he liked best, 
Boston or his own town, he replied gravely that he liked 
the latter best, because he could lie down there in the 
street and sleep with no danger of getting run over, while 
here he was in danger all the time with his eyes wide 
open. 

I have written thus far and my pen cleaves to the sub- 
ject, but I dare risk no more, at present. I received a 
letter from him yesterday, dated " Poverty Cottage, High- 
lands, Wibird's Hiil" — the location may be remembered by 
some — where Bob lives enjoying the otium cum dig., culti- 
vating a potato patch and rendering himself useful for a 
consideration, taking care by a judicious advance in the 
value of his service to make a dei^ressed currency go as 
far as ever he did. 



RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



RAMBLE CXL. 

The Bi-ick School-PIouse in State Sti>eet — Teacliex's 
foriner and recent — Scliool Dramatic Exhibitions — 
Sti-nclc by Lightning. 

Tins edifice was witliin the range of the great fire of 
1813, and all of it that was combustible was tlien consumed 
by the insatiable devourer. It was a building of no little 
note, for it was at that time not only the place for two 
schools ; one the High School of the day, kept by Master 
Eleazer Taft, and the other but a slight grade lower, kept 
by Master Samuel Bowles, — but Avithin the building on the 
north side, was a room for the Town Records and the Town 
Clerk's office, and another for the Selectmen. On the, 
north, six feet from it, extending into State street, was £(, 
brick watch house of one story. The entrance to the 
school-house and offices was by a door on the centre of the 
north side ; and where the recitation rooms have since been 
erected was an avenue to the play ground on the south 
side of the house. The building was then symmetrical in 
form, surmounted by a belfry, in whjcli g, good bell was 
hung. We give the particulars, for it is a matter of some 
interest to hundreds now living, to go back half a century 
to the scenes ^yhere they were '' boys together.'' 

This spot has been used for a public school house since 
1735, previous to which time the only public school-house 
was one below the south mill. The house was at first in- 
dividual property, belonging to the Wenworth family, and 
by Ebeneazer Wentworth was given to tlie town in 1735 
iti exchange for a school lot on Daniel street, given by Mrs. 
Grafifort for school use. 

The original house, probably with some additions, re- 
mained until about eighty years ago. It was of one low 
story, built in the style of the old south sch.ool.-hou.se. TVe 



THE BRICK SCHOOL HOUSE IN STATE STREET. 6U 

can find no record of the early teachers. Before and after 
the Revolution, Major Samuel Hale here taught for many 
years, and gave the right bend to the twigs of those days, 
as the after life of some of our best citizens, who have 
continued with us until the last thirty years, show. An- 
otlier teacher who kept in the old house after Major Hale, 
was Mr. Morse, of whom w5 only know that he requested 
such scholars as Dr. William Cutter and others of his class, 
to leave the school, as they knew as much as the master. 

The last, teacher who filled the chair in that old school- 
house, in about the year 1787, was Salmon Chase, a recent 
graduate from college. Boys then, as they sometimes have 
been since, were 'Juruly. Master Chase, who was a portly, 
athletic man., had occasion one day to chastise young- 
Georgia Turner as he deserved. The boy looking out of 
the open window and seeing his father, Capt. George 
I'nrner, coming up Buck street, sprang out and ran to him, 
complaining of the whipping. Capt. Turner was rather 
excitable, and rushing into tlie school room commenced a 
torrent of abuse. Master Chase was calmly seated at his 
desk preparing the boys' writing books. He looked up, 
told one of the 1103-3 to open the door, and pointed the 
visitor to it. He still continued his abuse. Standing u{) 
at l!is desk, the master raised his round solid ruler in such 
a manner as to show ^vhat he could do, and bade him 
depart ! The old sea captain saw but poor chance in a 
^Dersonal contest, dnd departed, leaving the master to gov- 
ern his school in his own way. Mr. Chase was a good 
teacher, but did not long remain here. He removed to 
Portland, and we think there studied law. lie afterwards 
settled in an interior town in Nev/ Hampshire, and in 180^ 
\vas born to him a son named Salmon P. Chase,^ who has 
been Governor of Ohio, Becretary of the U- S. Treasury, 
lahd is now Chief Justice of the United States. 

The nexit teacher of whom we have account was Deacon 



318 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Amos Tappan, probably the first teacher in the new brick 
edifice. The Deacon was a single man, and the Selectmen 
of the town thinking it desirable to secure his services 
permanently, respectfully requested him to get married, 
and further they recommended him to marry the sister of 
the Rev. Dr. Buckrninister. He doubtless had thoughts of 
the same proceeding before the suggestion was made. 
The matter being agreeable all around, the Deacon was 
married to her. But it appears that the principal marriage 
the Selectmen sought was not consummated — that of being 
wedded to the town as a schoolmaster. For in those days 
corporeal punishment was deemed a duty, and deacon Tap- 
pan having done his duty rather severely on one of the 
boys, his parents prosecuted him. This led the deacon to 
leave the public school, and open a private school, which he 
continued as long as he lived, in an old building located ob 
the west side of High street, between the raansios of C. H. 
Ladd, Esq., and the corner of Congress street. Soon after 
the fire of 1813 the west side of Mulberry street, near 
State street, where it now stands. He was a successful 
teacher, although the boys reg-arded him a severe dis- 
ciplinarian. 

In 1805 Mr. Tappan was succeeded by Eleazer Taft. 
Mr. Taft received his classical education in Brown Uni- 
versity, and subsequently officiated as a Congregational 
minister. Changing his religious sentiments, he renounced 
his ministry, and after serving in the asmy as one of Wash- 
ington's Life Guards, became an- instrvjcter of youth, first 
in Vermont. In 1805 he came to PortsmouiSh and suc- 
eevded Mr. Tappan in the instructior> of the High School, 
then kept in the chamber story of the schoobhotise, where- 
he remained until the building was burned out in the time 
©f the great fire of 1813. 

We here present the names of all the scholars we cans 
gather who attended Master Taft's school between the j'carsw 
1805 an-d 1814, when he retired from the school. 



NAMES OF MASTER TAFT'S SCHOLARS. 



;i9 



Lennanl Akpvnian 
J)aniel AiJwpis 
f^upply J Akcimaa 
Joseph Avers 

John Blunt 
f-hatles E Blunt 
Bnhert Hlunt 
John Samuel Elunt 
>Iaik Hluni 
John Bow P3 
Charles Bowles 
"^Villiain Firiard 
GeorRB G Brewster 
Charles W Hrewsier 
Joseph Brenster 
Hosca Ballou 
Masscna Ballou 
Georgt^ Blunt 
Enoch Brown 
Archibaia BlMistlell 
Kohert Blaisilell 
Thomas Brierly 
"Wni Baal.'V 
William T Bell 
Ira Blown 
Nehemiah Iv BuUer 
Daniel J Bi.selow 
Biirtholomew Barri 

Faniuel E Coues 
Iluijh Clarkson 
Heiijaniiii Clarkson 
Nathaniel Currier 
<'harles W Culler 
<'liarles Conner 
J Warner Conner 
Daniel Clark 
Benjamin Carter 
William Coxe 
I'harles W Coxe 
Leonard Cotton 
Nathaniel Cotton 
Stephen Chase 
l.habod Clark 
Charles Cults jr 
John Clark 

Theodore S Davis 
George Dearborn 
Gibnan Dearborn 
William IJieksoa 
Joseph Dodge 
James Dodjre 
John M Uavis 
Thomas Deverson 
James Dri<co 
Joshua Drisco 
Wm DeRochemont 

Mark Ewin 
Joseph Kwiu 
Uiohard Ela 
John Ewcn 

Theodore Kurher 
WeLauffUliii t'urbcr 
J D'oslcr s'lagg 
John Fla^i: 
Bupply I'oss 
Hamuel Koss 
Augustus Fiothingham 



Arthur Folsnm 
Simeon Fernald 

AUihonzo Gerrish 
William Goddard 
Charles Goddard 
Oliver Gerrish 
Nieholas Grace 
William Grace 
Joseph G ace 
Charles Grace 
Geor<^e Gerrish 
Gonrire Grouard 
Edward Grouard 
Phineas P Goodrich 
Ald-n Gove 

Tobias Harrold 
Benjamin Harrold 
Geoi^'f 11111 
J Brao!;ett Hutchings 
Pamuf-l Hilton 
John Hiltcn 
Morris H:un 
Oliver flam 
Nnlhaniel J Ham 
William Hardv 
Oeor<.'e P Ham 
Ed'vard Hart 
Nicholas C Hart 
Daniel J Huntress 
Leonarrl Holmes 
Oliver Holmes 
•iimothy Hall 
Thomas Hall 
Theodore J Harris 
Abel Harris 
Herman Harris 
Lewis Harris 
Joseph Mill 

Daniel Haselton 

Ira Ha'^eltou 

B' njaniin B Haseltoa 

C hades Harratt 

Pmiel Haslett 

J l^.vram Hall 

Asluon S HaU 

Samuel Ham 

Robert Ham 3d 

Gil'evt lloiney 

Charles Horney 

Ilauscm M Hart 2ii 

Charles lluniplirey 

Sarauel Hutchings 

Kdwaid Hardy 

Oliver Hall 

Jo-eph Hall 

Tlennins; Hall 

E Kicker Hill 

J Marshal Hill 

William laven 

Henry Haven 

Henderson Haven 

Howard Hend'^rson 

William liendersou 

Wil liam ll-im 

baniuel am 

" illiam Jones 
Thnnias Jones 
Clunieiit Jiiekson Jr 
KUward Jones 



James Jones 
/ nhur Jones 
Zao"heus Jones 
yamHcl Jackson 
Samuel Jones 

Moses Locke 
Jesse Lombard 
Oliver t arkia 
David Lyell 
John I I ane 
John Lake 
Jnhn Laishton 
El las Lowe 
John Lowe 
Granville f-owe 
Sylvester P. Lowe 
John Lowe 2d 
tiermiah L Lunt 
John I'olliiigs Lon;» 
Samuel P Lon<j 
Baruuel L Lan^'ton 
Samuel I amphiro 
William Laniphiro 
Luke M Laighton 
Ge -rge D Libbey 
Oliver Liv<'rmoie 
Joseph C Landlord 
William Libbey 

Elward S Mann/n? 
Geori;e Melcher Jr 
Henry McClintock 
John McClintock 
Georpre Manent 
Charles Maneiit 
Bnnning Morrill 
Joshua Moriill 
Gpor^e Mor HI 
Oliver Merri^m 
Gershom P Weleher 
Daniel Melcher 
Nathaniel M' Intire 
hamuel \1arsli;-U 
John F Meiidum 
Thatcher Mather 
Nathaniel J Vlareh 
Samuel Alnses 
Isaac Mudge 
Joseph Mann 
Nehemiah P Manii 
Thomas AJort n 
George Morion 
William Mardon 
George Moore 
George Moses 
>amuel Moore 
John Mo"!e 
Edward J ji;irshaU 
Benjamin Marshall 
Amlrew Marshall 
Samuel Marshall 
Joseph Mar-hall 
Woodbury Melcher 

William No well 
William Neil 
William O Vowell 
Anihouy F Noweil 

Thomas Odinrno 
Uenjamiu Oiua 



320 



RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 



James Orno 
■William Orne 
Hpiman Orii'; 
VVilliani Overton 

Oliver W Penh allow 
Samuel Penliallow 
Hugh H Pearse 
Leonard Peabody 
Jeremiah Pike 
John M Pillow 
r>aiiiel Peters 
ErUvard Parry 
Eiiwaid Peirce 
AVilliam Peiice 
Naihauiel Peirce 

Samuel Piowe 
Kben Rowe 
Tliomas Roach 
P'.dinund Roach 
Jtihn fc; Ross 



pamiiel Smith 
Jacob Swr'et>er 
John N Sheiburne 
H IJoskins Seaward 
Parker Sheldon 
Stephen H Simes 
Jiihn P Simes 
Geoicf! Simes 
John ii ftheare 



Oliver Sheafe 
Samuel ShackTord 
Henry Shackford 
Benjamin Sailer 
J Billings Shepherd 
J Marshall Shepherd 
Oliver Simes 
Georce Sherive 
Jonathan W Sherburne 
William Sherburne 
John Sherburne 
Henry Schroeder 
Samuel Shaw 
Jof-epii Stiles 
Samuel Spraiue 
William Sprague 
Thomas Simes 
Moses SafTord 
Charles Stavera 
James S Stan wood 
Jolin Sparhavvk 
Gforge K Sparliawk 
Washmiiton Sweetsor 
Henry Salter 

Seth Tripp 
Hall .1 'I'ibbett^ 
llenrv P. I'rediok 
Edward Trediok 
Thomas Tredick 
Jloses Taft, 
Henry Taft 
Alouzo Taft 



William R Tappan 
Willinm Thompson 
Kben Thompson Jr 
Hugh Tutlle 2d 
John Trundv 
AVilliam S Tullock 
John Turner 
Benjamin T Trcdick 
Jaini-s Thomas 
William Thomas 

William VarrcU 
Samuel Wyatti 

Joshua B Whiddeii 
John M Whidden 
Samuel W Waldron 
I'eler Wilson jr 
George Wentworlh 
George Went worth 2d 
(Jeorge W Walker 
William Walker 
Edward Watts 
Richard Walker 
J.ilin Wendell 
John Winkley 
Daniel Wendell 

Rnbert Yeaton 
< harles ^'eaton 
William T Yeatoii 
.Ti'sepli Yeaton 
Richard C Yeatoa, 



Tlio tuition of the school consisted of reading, spelhng, 
writing, geography, grammar, natural philosophy-, mathe- 
matics, and the Latin and Greek languages. He fitted sev- 
eral of his pupils for college, Avho subsequently graduated 
at Harvard Universit}'. 

The reading of the record above given will bring back 
to many the names of their early associates, many of whom 
have long since passed away. But in those who remain, 
there is but one feeling for the old master, whose mildness, 
dignity and affection for his scholars endeared him in 
their memory. 

After the rebuilding of the school-house in 1814, the 
teachers were Messrs. E. Hathaway, Ezra A. Stevens, Wil- 
liam C. Harris, Snell, WilHam H. Y. Hackett, Isaac 

Adams, Israel W. Bourne, ^Moses P. Parish, Chandler E. 
Potter, John T. Tasker, Israel Kimball, A. M. Payson, 
Lewis E. Smith, and some others, we think, but we have no 
record for reference. 



TEACHfeilS FOEMER AND RECENT. 321 

We have before us the original contract made in 1748 
between Samuel Hale and the Selectmen of Portsmouth, in 
Avhich he obligates himself to keep the grammar school of 
Portsmouth, and instruct in the languages for five years ; 
and the selectnien bind the town to give him an annual 
salary of =£45 during that time. Salmon Chase received 
about £80 per year. We find he left the school in 1789. 

AVe have seen Deacon Tappan's receipts in 1791, written 
in a beautiful hand, showing that his pay as teacher of tiie 
high school was XlOO per year. He was a keeper of the 
school about twelve years. Between his tiine and Mr. 
Taft's entry in 1805, the school was kept by Mr. Peter 
Cochrane. His memory is vividly impressed upon the 
minds of his scholars — whose hands can almost feel the 
tingle of that awful ferrule, which was in constant use. 

In the next generation some of the boys were better 
prepared for the reckoning— especially when the cowhide 
was the dispenser of punishment for playing truant. In 
one of the schools of a second grade in those times, a boy 
who was certain of receiving punishment for truancy the 
day before, went like a martyr to his post, and received his 
punishment without flinching, though put on perhaps rather 
more severely to overcome liis stoicism. He walks to his 
seat without a tear, and while the boys admired his bravery, 
they pitied him for his suffering, as was very evident from 
the stiffness of his gait. There was however a good shotit 
at play-time, when he withdrew from under his jacket the 
remains of an innocent salt-fish his sister had aided him in 
placing there to receive the punishment. 

this same school, kept i.. oom under ]\Ir. Taft's, 

in the time of the embargo in 1809, the children were taught 
the first principles of writing, without the use of ped; ink, 
pencil or slate. The whole length of the desk, in front, 
^^vas a level about eight inches wide, and sunk about half 
an inch beloAV the other part of the desk. Tiiis place was 



322 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

covered with yellow sand, smoothed by a guage with pro- 
jections in it, giving the lines to conform with those in the 
copy book. In this sand, with sticks formed like lead 
pencils, the young urchins would make their pot-hooks and 
trammels — and every form their imagination suggested, on 
to the mystery of joining-hand. One of our Market-street 
merchants informs us that in this way he took his first les- 
sons in chirography, without wasting a quill or blotting a 
book. 

Mr. Bowles describes his recollection of the old brick 
school house, in the following communication : 

Among the ancient edifices that have been used for 
cational purposes, there is none where so many of the past 
and present generations of Portsmouth have received their 
earlier instruction, and with which so many memories are 
associated, as the old Brick School House in State street. 
Boys have gone forth from its venerable walls not only to 
fill almost every station in life, from the most humble but 
useful calling to the highest positions in the state and 
national councils of the Republic, and, better far, to become 
faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion, and to elevate the 
American name in other lands beside our own. Neither 
have the girls, when weighed in the balance, been found 
wanting. In every place where woman's duty and destiny 
call her, they have acted well a woman's part — crickets of 
the hearthstone, bringing joy and gladness to their hus- 
bands' firesides — and better mothers never fulfilled 

" Life's highest, holiest task." 

The scholars of some forty years ago, when a bell upon 
the roof rang out its stirring notes to call them to their 
tasks, had a more extended play ground than those of the 
present day enjoy ; for School House Hill was then an 
open thoroughfare between Pitt and State streets. Al- 
though the school building: had risen Phoenix-like from its 



SCHOOL DRAMATIC EXHIBITIONS. 323 

ashes, other memorials of the great conflagration of 1813 
were visible around, in the form of old cellars and bricks, 
innumerable, the latter affording an inexhaustible fund of 
amusement in recess time. Upon the summit of the hill, 
on the State street side was an old well, with the stump of 
a half-burnt pump in the centre. It was a hid ecus trap, 
into which it is a miracle that more than one unfortunate 
wight did not fall, during the years its open mouth stood 
ready to receive them. One day it occurred to Master 
Stevens, in connection with the above, that he would bring 
the boys' play to some practical account. Having interested 
them just before recess hour with the incident in ancient 
history where a river is recorded to have been filled up, by 
each soldier of one of the conquerors of old throwing a 
stone into it, he then suggested that they should thus fill 
up ihe old well with a portion of the bricks that lay so pro- 
fusely scattered around. It Avould be such rare fun, they 
were not slow to act upon the hint thus given them, and be- 
fore the bell rang for their return, (delayed a little prob:i ')]y 
in honor of the occasion,) the dangerous aperture had l)ren 
filled to the surface of the ground; the last course of l>nck 
laid with the smoothness and precision of aRuss-pavemint. 
Let us cast a backward look to the days when scliool 
dramatic exhibitions were in vogue, and see what it pre 
sented to our view. It is a winter evening. The iirst 
floor of the school-house is converted for the time 1 * ing 
into a theatre, with a crowded audience. A partition ex 
tends across the lower end of the room, one-half the 
enclosed space answering the purpose of that mystery of 
mj'steries in a theatre, the green room, and the remaiu'^er 
as a stage, Avith its green curtain. There is no ga& ti- <-;ist 
its brilliancy upon bright eyes and fair faces, Avhere hi i^ht 
eyes and fair faces still are seen, (for no visionary had e\ er 
dreamed of such a corporation as the Portsmouth Uas 
Company,) but Tetherly's "dips" in tin candlesticks suj- 



324 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSliOUTH. 

pended from the walls supplied the deficiency, and a range 
of oil lamps furnished the " foot lights" for the stage. The 
orchestra, located in the green room, consists of Esido- 
Yictor, from Water street, professor of the tamborine, and 
another colored gentleman, professor of the violin. The 
bell rings, and the curtain rises to scenes from Shakespeare's 
" Midsummer Night's Dream." As Peter Quince calls over 
the names of his actors who are to play before the duke, 
and " Nick Bottom, the weaver " " Francis Flute, the bel- 
lows-mender," " Robin Starveling, the tailor," and '•' Tim 
Snout the tinker," severally answer, ''Here !" the oddity 
of their names, combined with the ridiculous dresses they 
have assumed, call forth shouts of laughter from the juve- 
niles, and the humor of the scene is well enjoyed by the 
audience generally. Nick Bottom is an especial favorite, 
and creates much mirth l)y promising, that if permitted to 
play the lion, he will so roar that the duke shall say. " Let 
him roar again !" nor less so,' when, on being told that he 
might frighten the ladies; he replies that he can; at will, 
" roar as gentle as any sucking dove." The entrance of 
Snug, on all-fours, (enveloped in a buffalo skin) as the lion, 
is the signal for a fresh outbi'eak of merriment. 

Peter Quince, bidding adieu to Athens, retires to the 
gentlemen's dressing-room in the entry ,' (luider the stairs,) 
transforms himself, by the aid of a Oilman Blues' uniform 
into a fine looking soldier, and reappearing, recites with 
much spirit Campbell's stirring poem of " Hohenlindeii." 
A blooming young lady then favors the audience with a 
popular song of the time, '' Wreaths for the Chieftain," and 
is succeeded by a young gentleman, who in the costume of 
an American sailor, sings one of the war songs of 1812. 
A very young gentleman, in a broad frilled ruffle, (his^ 
"first appearance on any stage,") then recites, with the most 
most approved accent, th(5 somewhat familiar lines, com^ 
mencing-— 

" You d nr.nrrp- crpoi'l Olie rif my as;e, 
To .ijitak ill pubVic uit the tlaije." 



STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. 3iio 

School dialogues, of a varied character, intervene, but en- 
veloped as thej are in the shadows of the past, thej present 
a confused and misty appearance. Among otlier passenger's 
of less note. Queen Zenobia, with a train of attendants, 
appears in one of them. The performance concludes with 
an entire two-act play, entitled the " Militar}' School '' very 
well done, but the special life of the piece is '• Old Pipes," 
a decayed soldier "with a crutch and a wooden leg, who, 
perpetually smoking, perfumes the room — not with tobacco 
smoke, but the more agreeable odor of pennyroj'al. Exeunt 
omnes — the curtain falls. 

The scene changes now to a day in summer. The rain 
that commenced early in the morning has increased in vio- 
lence, until school-house hill is a fair sized cataract, and the 
street at its base a running river. Mingled with the deluge 
of the watery element, are thunder and lightning so terrific 
and oft-repeated, that the more youthful pupils hide in terror 
beneath their desks. At last there comes a shock n^ore 
terrible than all that preceded it — like a broadside from 
Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar, or the Allies' fire at Sebastopol. 
The room is filled with sparks, and without the whole at- 
mospliere seems a blaze of fire. When it has passed, 
revealing faces livid with affright, the stillness of death 
succeeds, for simultaneous w^ith the last great shock, the 
rain has almost instant!}'' ceased, and teacher and pupils 
rushing out of doors, discover that the belfry has been 
shattered to fragments, one of the chimneys rent asunder, 
and the bricks, scattered upon the roof and the ground 
below. Looking in the direction of the residence of Wil- 
liam Jones, Esq. they see that one of the chimneys has 
entirely disappeared, and the windows of the first floor are 
in q- sadly damaged condition. A man in the door of 
Wiggin & Story's grocery, at the corner of State and 
Penhallow streets, is telling some people that while stand- 
ing in that position a few minutes before he saw in the air 



326 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

a large ball of fire, which separated, one portion taking the 
direction of the school-house, the other that of Mr. Jones's 
residence, and while nearly blinded and stunned by the 
blaze and explosion that followed he was suddenly brought 
to consciousness by a heavy blow upon his knee from a 
brick still lying upon the door step. There is no more 
school for the day, for the lightning has struck in a dozen 
places, and the boys are given a holiday to enable them to 
take lessons in electricity. Among other locations they 
visit the old South Church, and climb the fence on the 
opposite side of the way, to get a peep at two promising 
spring pigs, which had been brought to an untimely end 
by the electric fluid. They think the catastrophe rather of 
a comical character, yet it brings to mind a fact the master 
endeavored to impress upon them before they were dismiss- 
ed for the day, that had the classes recited that morning in 
their usual position beneath the belfry, a miracle alone 
could have saved some of them from being instantly killed. 



RAMBLE CXLI. 

School Honse Hill — School ZBoolcs — ^iTLuseinerLts — 
Slides — IVIrs. INXaloon's Shop — The Catastrophe — I?ar^ 
son "Walton's HVIeeting-House — Services — The Be- 
loved Disciple. 

If the Brick School House has its agreeable associations 
to the school-boys of past and present generations. School 
House Hill, the scene of their pastimes in recess hours, is 
not forgotten. Pleasant memories of the old play-ground 
have been borne away to every spot on the globe where 
thehomes ofcivilization are seen, or commerce has ex- 
iended its enterprise. Wa have recently seen a venera- 



SCHOOL HOUSE HILL. 327 

ble copy of the " American Preceptor/' one of tlie reading 
books used in conjunction Avith '' ^^sop's Fables," by a 
school-boy of the time of President Madison. It is printed 
with thelongy, that must have caused much perplexity to 
young beginners in distinguishing it from an f, I can fancy 
one of them just fledged from '' b-a ba, k-e-r ker, baker," 
puzzling over the following extract from Dr. Franklin's 
story of ''The Whistle," half oblivious Avhether the boy 
found the whistle, or if it was the sound t\\^t attracted him. 
'* I went directly to a fhop where they fold toys for chil- 
dren ; and being charmed with the found of a whiftle, 
which I met by the way, in the hands of another boy, I 
voluntarily offered, and gave all my money for it." 

A later day than this, however, is embraced in the wri- 
ter's memories of the old locality, but within the period 
that the avenue remained unclosed, between Pitt and State 
streets. While groups of boys could then be seen engaged 
in various sports on ihe southern side of the hill, others 
never tired of playing among the ruins on State street ; 
standing the bricks on end in rows or circles, to see them 
fall again in quick succession, or forming them into forts, 
and storming out imaginary foes with missiles of the same 
hard material — illustrating one of Mr. Punch's " Facts in 
Natural History," that " among hats, the brickbat flies with 
the greatest force, if not with the greatest velocity." 

An exciting scene v/as visible on a winter's day, when 
scores of boys could be seen enjoying the fine slides the 
hill afforded. Although the boys who lived in the neigh- 
borhood, as they worked out the slide after each fresh flill 
of snow, regarded it as their especial domain, they never 
quarelled with any others Avho came to share it with them. 
It was theresort of youngsters from all quarters ; a neutral 
ground, from its central location, where the hatchet was 
buried by " Northenders " and " Southenders," who seemed 
to forget die feuds existing between them, whieh ran so 



328 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

]iigli in lioop-time, as they went do\Yn tlie declivity upon 
their sleds, side by side, together. 

At the foot of the hill, in the old building demolished 
ten or a dozen years since, a widow lady kept one of those 
little shops so numerous at Portsmouth in former years. 
On the outer shelves was an array of crockery and earthern 
ware, the latter with an especial eye to country trade, em- 
bracing, (from Dodge's pottery,) capacious milk-^pans, pots 
for beans or brown bread, jugs and pitchers for the haying- 
field, and white mugs that would hold a full quart of cider. 
Among the older stock, were relics of a former day, mugs 
and pitchers adorned with Porter, Perr}^, Bainbridge, Hull 
and other heroes of the war of 1812, and that now almost 
forgotten personage " Toby Philpot." Behind the counter 
were barrels and boxes of groceries, and upon the shelves 
above, pins, needles, thread, and other notions, with slate 
pencils, nuts and apples for the school-boys. A cheese, 
whose excellence could always be relied on, occupied a 
particular spot on the counter, and near by, arranged upon 
a line, were skeins of yarn, stockings, gloves, and mittens, 
taken in trade from country customers. There was one 
peculiarity about the miltens, that, among the reminisences 
of their boyhood, is not forgotten by some of the wearers 
to this day. No iiiatter how high upon the wrist they came 
when first put on, after an afternoon's service in snow-ball- 
ing, they could rarely be induced again to reach above the 
thumb. 

The sun was not more regular in its course than the pro- 
prietor of this establishment. If a neighbor's time-piece 
stopped, it could be set from her movements, about as cor- 
rectly as by the Old North clock. Adjoining the shop was 
a cosy little sitting-room, with its antique furniture — the 
walls adorned with engravings of so old a date they would 
be a rare prize, no\y-a-days, to collectors of such curios- 
ities — and there she could be found, when not called to 



MRS. maloon's shop. 329 

wait upon a customer, sitting upon the same spot, year in 
and year out, engaged in knitting ; her favorite cat "Tibby" 
lying upon the rug at her side. It was a cheerful scene of 
domestic comfort when a bright wood fire was burning 
upon the hearth, for she eschewed stoves, and would admit 
no such modern innovations upon her premises. She had 
long occupied her mansion, and could remember a time 
when a ten-foot building stood upon the site of Mrs. Ab- 
bott's dwelUng, and a blacksmith's shop was on the garden 
in the rear. One evening, while engaged in her occupa- 
tion of knitting, thinking of the days that were gone, and 
of her youth that would return no more, her meditations 
were suddenly disturbed by the bursting in of the door of 
her shop with a crash that shook the house to its founda- 
tion. On opening the door to learn the cause, she discov- 
ered to her astonishment, as much of a horse-sled projecting 
inside the shop as its huge dimensions would allow to enter, 
a boy of some six years old clinging to it through the aid 
of a hole in the centre, and no one else to be seen, far or 
near, in the bright moonlight. The tale he had to tell, re- 
lated with much fear and trembling, while assisting to 
remove the unwieldy obstruction, bore sufficient evidence 
of its truthfulness, as it was very clear that he, unaided, 
could never have used so ponderous a conveyance. While 
some of the smaller boys of the neighborhood were en- 
gaged in sliding, two of the largest and roughest specimens 
of '^ Southenders " made their appearance among them, 
and after amusing themselves for a while with borrowed 
sleds, started off in pursuit of something more exciting. 
A few rods distant on the northern side of Pitt street, was 
a depot of old gigs, carts and other vehicles that would 
have done honor to Shepherd Ham's collection of sadlery 
articles mentioned in Rambles 41. Selecting from among 
them a dilapidated horse-sled, they dragged it to the 
summit of the hill, and getting on themselves, and inducing 
22 



330 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the smaller youngsters to follow their example, they started 
for a slide. When once underway, it went with locomotive 
speed, and as there was no such thing possible as guiding 
so clumsy an affair, it finally brought up at the point men- 
tioned above — all the others making their escape, with the 
exception of one small specimen of young Portsmouth, 
before the final catastroplie occurred. 

I cannot close these sketches without at least a passing- 
notice of the venerable church, known as " Parson Wal- 
ton's Meeting House," that in former years adjoined the 
widow's residence ; the same structure that, afterwards 
remodelled, was finally torn down to give place to the new 
chapel of the Unitarian Society. It was one of the most 
antique of the old New England churches, now fast passing 
away, and of which not a vestige will remain, ere many 
years have elapsed, in the most sequestered country village. 
It stands before me now, both in its interior and exterior 
aspect, just as it looked when untouched by the hand of 
modern improvement. The plain and unpainted, but not 
ungraceful pulpit, and its flided velvet cushion whose tas- 
sels swayed to and fro in the summer breeze ; the solemn' 
looking sounding-board, exciting childish wonder how it 
was ever raised to its seemingly lofty height, or what sus- 
tained it there; the square pews, nearly large enough for 
a small family to live in, city tenement-house fashion ; the 
long galleries, that creaked at every footstep ! the gayly 
colored chandeher, suspended by a painted rope from the 
ceiling; the queer looking poles, well filled with hooks and 
nails, rising above the pews, designed for coats and hats, 
but looking, in more modern times, like some arrangement 
for the suspension of a clothes-line ; the long pews, one on 
each side the centre aisle, where a choir had once been 
located, (the ladies occup^'ing one, the gentlemen the 
other,) with seats that turned upward on a pivot while the 
occupants were standing, and elevated forms in the centre 



PARSON Walton's meeting house. 331 

for singing-books ; all are daguerreotyped in unfading hues 
upon my memory, mingled with remembrances of early 
childhood, when my home was almost within the shadow of 
ihe ancient bell-tower. Nor is the exterior — weather-beat- 
sen, black with age, and moss-covered — less familiar, or the 
belfry, with its spire and vane, that vibrated at every revo- 
lution of the ancient bell. On every Sabbath day, and on 
;afternoons when " conference meetings " were held, hitched 
to the church-railing, njight be seen a horse, o^ very "cer- 
tain age," attached to an anticjue pattern of a gig or sleigh, 
tlie conveyance of a worthy pair from Long Lane. When 
absent in the winter-time, it was an unerring indication that 
•the snow had fallen very deep in the country, and that the 
roads mast bo badly blocked up. Accompanying them was 
a long hound-shaped dog, of iron-gray color, who was left 
in charge of the vehicle during church-hours. If a mis- 
chievous boy attempted to invade his castle, he was too 
well principled to bark, especially if it were Sunday, but he 
.displayed a double row .of ivory that never faile.d to send 
;the offender away in terror, glad to escape at so cheap a 
rate. Others too, who came from far distances, seldom 
failed to be seen in their accustomed places. 

How many prayers ascended to the throne of grace from 
that sacred edifice, and how often its walls echoed to the 
good old tunes of 'Lisbon,' 'Corinth,' 'St. Martin's,' 'Mear,' 
'Coronation,' that most sublime of sacred lyrics 'Old Hun- 
dred,' and many others not less remembered, or less loved. 
But the old chnrch is no more ; those who offered up the 
prayers have had their " faith changed to sight," and the 
singers are numbered with the choir who sing the song of 
'•'Moses and the Lamb." 

There probably never existed, since the apostolic age, a 
more devoted bod}^ of Christians than those who constitut- 
ed the church of Rev. Joseph Walton; a people, truly, 
»'ho were "good for goodness' sake," and whose daily life 



66l RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

illustrated the truth and beauty of the faith they professed. 
Many of them long survived the good man who for so many 
years was their teacher in things spiritual, but all have 
passed away to those mansions where they have laid up 
much treasure for eternity. Some of their descendants yet 
have homes at Portsmouth — others are scattered far and 
wide abroad. Wherever they may be, it is to be hoped the 
good seed has not become extinct within them, but that it 
has yet a living principle, springing up and germinating, 
and bringing forth much good fruit.* 



RAMBLE CXLII. 

Tlae Old Soi.itli Cliui'cli^ 

The departure of time-honored edifices creates a feeling- 
of regret, however dilapidated they may have become, or 
by however superior buildings they are to be supplanted, — 
for there are associations connected with the old which the 
new will be long in giving. 

It was about twelve years since that the steeple of the Old 
South Church, that prominent point in our city landscape^ 
was cast upon the ground, after having occupied its posi- 
tion 132 years. The oak posts around the belfry which 
supported the steeple, were as sound as when first put there. 
The house was vacated by the society in 182G, when the 
Stone Church was prepared for occupancy. For a short 

'" One of Uie most distinguished divines of the American pulpit, Eev. Dr. Stow of Boa- 
ton, in a Ivrief eulogy at tlie time of tlie dealli of one of tliese good people, said, '-His faitli 
in God I never saw equalled, and 1 doubt if it has been surpassed in many iiistoncrB, thice 
the days of Abrabam. He livdfnr Go'/." Amunj; the saeied spots in tlie North Burying- 
}.'riiund, wliore the ashes of the righteous dead await tlie resurrection mornins;. there is 
none more so than that wlieie rests the dust of this holy man. '• That disciple wIk m Jesus 
loved " is inscribed upon (lie stone that marlis his grave with a truthfulness equalled only 
by the pure taste that iudited it. 



THE OLD SOUTH CHURCH. 333 

time the old meeting house was occupied by a portion of 
the Society who did not wish to leave the place in wliieli 
their fathers worshipped. It subsequently became the 
property of a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church ; 
and was occupied at several different periods as a place of 
worship by that denomination, which afterwards erected 
the church on Pearl street. In the intervals of this occu- 
pancy, it had been for a considerable portion of the time, 
kept open for religious worship, sometimes by series of 
Sunday afternoon or evening services, arranged by the 
clergymen of the city; sometimes by regular services 
conducted by the city missionary. Several years before 
its destruction a floor was laid between the two tiers of 
windows. The second story was converted into an audi- 
ence-room, with a pulpit, while the lower story was divided 
into a ward-room and two school-rooms. 

Tiie first pastor settled after the house was erected was 
Rev. William Shurtleff, in 1733, who died in 17-47. His 
remains, the record says, were " deposited in a grave under 
the communion table." It appeared on the removal of the 
wpper flooring, that a hole the size of the coffin was cut in 
the under boards about ten feet loest of the communion 
table, and that here his remains, with those of his successor, 
Rev. Job Strong, had lain for more than a century. 
It was not a matter of great importance, but the discrep- 
ancy of the record and the fact we Avill explain. 

On going from the house about the time it was taken 
down, we met standing on the hill, the venerable Captain 
Daniel Fernald, who seemed to look VvMth mucli interest 
upon the departure of the place of worship of his early 
da3'S. Among his interesting recollections of the house, 
he said, that originally the house was some twenty ieet 
shorter than it now is. Nearly a century ago it was cut 
in two, the eastern lialf moved about twenty feet, and a 
new piece put into the centre of the house. This was at 



334 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

once an explanation of the position of the pastors' graves, 
which wore actually beneath the communion table when 
buried, but by the enlargement of the house, the pulpit, to 
be in the centre, was removed several feet towards the 
eastern end. 

On the 22d June, 17G7, the following vote passed in a 
parish meeting, of which Daniel Jackson was moderator r 

''Whereas a number of subscribers being desirous for 
their own convenience, and of being accommodated with 
pews, to have the meeting house cut and made twenty-four 
feet longer, and the broad alley, pulpit and fore door to be 
in the middle of the house as near as possible, and the 
addition proposed to be made to be all in readiness as soon 
as tlie house is cut and moved to the distance proposed, to 
be joined together immediately thro' frame and interlays 
to prevent the house being daniaged or overset by any 
sudden gust of wind. * '^ * To be completed entirely 
at their own cost and charge, and they to have the benefit 
of the disposition of the pews to themselves, "^ * "^ n 
Voted, that Mr. John Griifes, Mr. Thomas Hart, Doaco- 
Mark Langdon, Capt. Titus Salter, and Capt. Samuel Lang 
don, be a committee for the proprietors of this Parish to 
receive the bond (£2,000) from the subscribers." 

Turning over the parish records, we find the following' 
interesting entry made at the time of the death of Rev. Mr. 
Strong, which we copy verbatim. It presents in itself {* 
picture of the past. 

October 1. 1751. 

At a mooting of the parislionors of the South Parish, in Portsmo. as- 
sembled on the occasion of the decease of our Rev. Pasture, Mr. Jols" 
Strong, aiid to know the minds of the pari?honers with respect to ye de- 
cent interm't ot our deceased pasture, they proceeded unanimously and 
nrade choice of Mathew Livemore, Esq. n^od'r, and it was put to vote 
whether they would do any thing at all or not relating to the funeral, an(i 
it passed in the affirmative. 

V'lteil, Neminie contra d'icente, That there be a grave and deccnS 
coflin . 

Voted. That the bearers have riihgs. 

Vole/, That the following person's hate gloves, vif: 
1st Tlie Paul Holders and their wives. 
2(ily, The Under feea'ers. 



THE OLD SOUTH CHURCH. 335 

3(lly, The Doc\- and his lady. 

4thly, The Rev. Mr. Browu and his lady. 

5thly, The Watchers. 

6dily, That the Govern''r and his lady have gloves. 

7thly, The Saxfen of tiiis Parish. 

8thly, The other two Saxteiis, if they or either of yin toll ye bell, shall 

be pd for ya service. 
9thly, The Ministers that attend the funeral. 
lOthI}', That Sam''! Hart EsqV & his wife for the paul. 
llthly. Coil. Gilman and lady and three sisters of Mr. Stron"-. 
12rhly, The Tenders. 

Voted, That the widow of our deceased pasture have a suit of mourning;. 
Voted, That their be seventy pounds, old tenV, given to Mad'm Strong 

to put herself in mourning. 
Vvt^d, That the grave be dug for the iterm't of the remains of the 

Rev. 'Mr. Strong, be as near to Mr. Shurtleff's coffin as may be. 
Voted, That Mad'm Shurtleff have a pair of gloves. 
Voted, That the church wardens be, and hereby are, empowered and 
authorized to put the above votes in execution, and raise money 
on the parishoners for effecting the same, together with tcMi or 
twelve pounds old tenV, for unforseen contingences, if there be 
occasion for it. 
Voted, That Mad'm Fitch have a pair of gloves. 

Voted, That the Rev. Mr. Langdon of Portsmo,, Mr. Addams of New- 
ington, Mr. Wise of Berwick, Mr. Rogers of Kittery, be four of 
the paul holders. 
Vole I, That tiie other two paul holders be left to the appointment of 
the friends of the deceased, and in want thereof, to the churcii 
wardens. 
Voted, That the church wardens be hereby desired to make provision 
to have a sermon preached the same day before tlie intenn't of our 
deceased pasture. Matuew Livemoue, Mod r. 

Capt. Feniald says tliat wlien he first attended the meet- 
ing there was but one house on the square south of the 
church, — a one story house occupied by a Mrs. Wyatt, 
nearly opposite the present residence of Ichabod RolHns, 
Esq. The house of Mr. Thatcher Emery, near the bridge 
Avas also then standing. The square on the North of the 
churcli was owned by Capt. Nathaniel Pierce at that time, 
and upon it was only the Pierce house on the northwest 
coruer, and a barn on the southwest corner. Capt. Pierce, 
after the Revolution, sold to Capt. Drisco the whole squire, 
excepting the small lot reserved for his own residence, 
for S300. 

It is said that when this church was built, some of the 



336 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

timber used was cut on the ground. The lot was presented 
to the parish by Capt. John Pickering, who was a liberal 
supporter of the ministry, as well as an active citizen in 
temporal matters. 

On the 13th Sept. 1863, we were present at the exhum- 
ing of" the remains of Rev. William Shurtleff, who was pas- 
tor from 1733 to 1747 : he died May 0th of tliat year, and 
Avas buried under the communion table ; — as were also the 
remains of his successor, Rev. Job Strong, who died Sept. 
28,1751, and was buried by the side of Mr. ShurtlefT. 

In the boards of the under floor, as we have stated, a 
place of the size of a coffia was found cut, which indi- 
cated the position of the graves. Directly under the open- 
ing the remains of one of them was found, and by his 
side, the cofliins probably toucl)ing, was found the otlier. 
There was a diS'erence of opinion as to the identity, but to 
u"s it was clear that the remains of Mr. ShurtlelTwere re- 
moved to the side, to admit those of Mr. Strong to be low- 
ered directly into the grave. On first opening the grave, 
which was between, three and four feet deep, it was doubted 
whether any remains were to be found, after having been 
buried in the earth 112 and 110 years. This doubt Avas 
soon removed by tlie disclosure of the skull, hair, and prin- 
cipal bones of the one whom Ave regard as Mr. Strong. 
Some of the bones Avere undecayed — the teeth in the section 
of the loAver jaAv Avliite and apparently as sound as when ho 
died, at the age of 27. The bones of Mr. Shurtleff, Avho Avas 
about 40 years older when he died, AA^ere more nearly ap- 
proacliin.g decomposition — of the skull only a piece of the 
size of a dollar was left. There Avas but one rib left in a 
good preservation, and that belonged to Mr. Shurtleff. No 
remains Avere left of either coffin except two little strips of 
3 and 6 inches long, which appeared to have been the bands 
of the coffin lids in Avhich Avas a roAv of brass nails, about an 
incli apart. There Avere two pine knots found, so Avell pre- 



THE OLD SOUTH CHURCH. 337 

served by the pitch they contained, they were as white and 
sound inside as new wood. An iron hinge in one of the 
graves showed that the coffin lid was made to t.urn down. 

The remains of each, under the direction of the Wardens 
of the Stone Church, were put in appropriate boxes, and 
placed in the Auburn Cemetery where a suitable monument 
is now erected. 

The coffins in the Rindge tomb, under the centre of the 
house on the soutli side, have all been removed to the cem- 
etery. This tomb must have been built more than a cen- 
tury ago, for when the house was enlarged and the porch 
erected in 1767, the entrapce to the tomb was covered by 
the porch. The idea that the entrance to the church was 
made over the tomb was so. abhorrent to the feelings of the 
family, that they changed their place of worship in conse- 
quence, to the Episcopal church. 

In casting our eyes over the records of the South 
Church, we find a few matters worth giving. The sub- 
scription paper, on which the names are given of those who 
contributed to the support of Rev. Mr. Emerson, for the 
years 1714, 1715 and 1716 is summed up by the committee 
with the following entry : 

''All that we can find that Mr. Emerson has had that we 
can make out at present is £175 2s 2d." 

Mr. Emerson gives his receipt as follows : 

''I allow of ye one hundred seventy -five pounds two 
shillings, as so much paid for my salary ye first three years 
after I came to town." J. Emersox.'' 

1753. Voted, That the scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament be pul)licly read every Lord's day as a part of 
the public worship in G-od's house. 

1756. Voted, That ten pounds old tenor, of the Charity 
Money in the hands of the Deacons, be laid out in practical 
books for the use of the poor of the Parish. 

Voted, That the hundred pounds, old tenor, given by 
Capt, Geo. Walker to the church, and now in the hands of 



338 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the Deacons Langdon and Jackson, should be laid out to 
the best advantage in silver and gold coin, that the church 
may sustain np further loss by its lying in a depreciating 
medium. 

1757. Voted, That the remainder of the proportion of 
the charity money appropriated to purchase practical and 
instructive books, for the use of the poor in this parish, be 
given into the hands of the Pastor to be laid out in books 
for said use. 

Voted, That the X32 in stock of the church's money, 
now in t'le hinds of Deacon Jackson, be by him converted 
into silver or gold coin. 

Sept. 27, 1700. Received of the hands of Deacon Jack' 
son one silver tankard, being the gift of Mrs. Mary ShurtlefF 
to the South Church in Portsmouth, for the use of the Min- 
ister for the time being. 

1760. A list of books belonging to the South Parish in 
Portsmouth, for the use of the Minister for the time being, 
and to be lent out among the people under his direction : — ' 
Pool's Synoposis, vol 5, Dr. Watts' Sermons ; Dr. Dodd- 
ridge's Rise and Progress, 3 vols. ; Shaw's Welcome to the 
Plague, <fec. 4 vols. ; Christian Piety; Dickinson's Letter. 

1762. The church likewise voted that the Deacons 
Langdon and Jackson be and hereby are desired to pur- 
cha'^e with the silver money in their hands (being the gift 
of Capt. Walker) a decent christening basin, as soon as a 
sufficient sum shall be raised to pay for the forming of said 
basin, by subscription, the whole of tlie silver now in their 
hands to be applied in the weight of the basin. 

The church likewise having further considered the pro- 
posal made for tlie introducing the use of Dr. Watts' ver- 
sion of the Psalms instead of the New England version, 
into their public worship, desired the Pastor to mention 
said proposal to the congregation. 

At a meeting of the church, Sept. 9, 1763, at the meet- 
ing house, the cliurch voted the use of Dr. Watts' version 
of the Psalms, instead of the New England. Voted, like- 
wise, that the congregation should be desired to make a 
stop after public worship, and that the vote of the church 
be proi)osed to them for their concurrence. The congre- 
gation voted their concurrence, and likewise that said 
Psalms should be sung without being read line by line. 



THE OLD BELL TAVERN. 339 

RAMBLE CXLIII. 

The Old 33ell Tavern. 

The old landmarks of a city, ir" not of great beaut}'', have 
an interest which time gives to many things of antiquity. 
Four or five successive generations have been wont to 
look upon this old tavern, as one of the matters which 
formed the hub of the busy wheel of I*ortsmouth. In the 
Recollections of our older inhabitants, the Court House, the 
old North Church and the Bell Tavern have an association, 
together with the Parade and the old oak still standing, 
which has fixed a lasting picture on the mind. 

They have revolutionary associations. When the patriot 
Manning on the west Court House steps threw up his hat^ 
declaring that King street should no longer bear that name, 
but in Congress street should in future the Bell Tavern 
be found — from that day the name of the street was 
changed. 

In 1727, the Gains house was built on the west side of 
th(3 Bell Tavern lot, having a front yard 40 or 50 feet deep. 
In 1738, a building occupied by Robert Macklin, the baker^ 
who lived to the age of 115 years, was burnt on the pres- 
ent site of Congress Block. Soon after, a portion of the 
first meeting house was removed to the spot, from the south 
mill dam, and made a dwelling house for John Newmarch^ 
a merchant. Five years after, in 1743, Paul March, who 
Inarried a daughter of John Newmarch, built the Bell 
TaVern. The building was framed by Hopestill Caswell of 
New Market, a mulatto, half brother of Paul March. That 
it was strongly made, the test of a century and a quarter* 
has shown. On the completion of the work there was^ 
according to the custom of the day, a merry gathering to 
commemorate it. Though Hopestill had performed an im-' 
portant part of the work, he did not venture to approacj 



3i0 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

the board, until it was decided by the company that he 
should be permitted to come in and partake with them on 
the joyful occasion. 

How long March occupied it, and whether it was at first 
a public house we know not. An old lady, who saw the 
house erected, once told us that several years after its 
erection she had seen the yard filled with hogsheads of 
molisses, rnm, and such goods as showed that March was 
extensively engaged in mercantile pursuits. Previous to 
the revolution the house was occupied by Mr. John Green- 
leaf, and the sign of the Bell (painted blue) was hanging 
from the post. Whether or not it was intended to repre- 
sent the " Blue Bells of Scotland," it is not in our power 
to decide. At that time there was another public house 
kept by Mr. Foss in the neighborhood, on the spot where 
the stable of the Franklin House now stands. 

To the old Bell Tavern the patriots of the revolution 
used to resort, while the tories made their headquarters at 
the Earl of Halifax. The venerable Theodore Moses of 
Exeter, has told us that this was the place for resort of 
such patriots as Thomas Pickering, who commanded the 
Hampden, and his fellows, and we may well imagine the 
nature and spirit of the meetings at the bar room and par- 
lors in those days, when punch-bowls were in fashion. 
Horses were kept at the stable in the rear in those days as 
now. Mr. Greenleaf's son, on a winter day, was using one 
of his father's horses and a sleigh for a ride round town. 
After passing in front of St. John's church, in turning into 
Bdw street, the sleigh went over the bank, where the Day 
building now stands, and passed down some fifty feet into 
river. Not much damage was done, excepting a wetting of 
the horse and driver. It was a perilous adventure. 

The keeper after Greenleaf was Fursell, whose widow 
afterwards kept a boarding house in the present residence of 
Samuel Lord, on Middle street, where John Paul Jones 



THE OLD BELL TAVERN. o41 

boarded. It was also kept by Col. William Brewster, pre- 
vious to his occupancy of the house on the site of Richard 
Jenness' mansion. It was also kept by Mr. Jacob Tilton, 
the father of the well known idiot Johnny Tilton, wlio for 
many years was an inmate of our almshouse. Johnny was 
not a very bright child, but was not born an idiot. When 
a boy he was in his father's stable in the rear of the Bell 
Tavern, and seeing the hens fly out of the loft window, 
supposed he might do so to. He stood upon the window 
frame, and flourishing his arms in imitation of the hens' 
wings commenced his flight — but he reached the ground 
rather sooner than he expected, injuring himself so as to 
affect his mental faculties during his after life. He is well 
recollected as seen carrying corn to the mill for the alms- 
house, usually decorated with feathers in his hat, as if in 
remembrance of the hen adventure. He died about forty 
years ago. It was he who said, when asked at the mill 
what he knew, " Some things I know, and some things I 
don't know — I know the miller's hogs grow fat, but I don't 
know whose corn they fat on." 

It was afterwards kept by Ebenezer Chadwick, who left 
it to take charge of the Jail, about 1790. It was after- 
wards kept for a time by Col. Seth Walker, the Register of 
Deeds. 

Early in the present century, Nathaniel Brown, from the 
Governor's flirm in Wolfborough, took charge of the Bell 
Tavern, and remained there until 1821. 

In a letter from a friend who had spent many years 
under its roof, during Esquire Brown's administration and 
alterwarbs, he says : 

" It was not a beautiful structure— an architect would 
not hold it up as a model. I don't think its proportions 
are exactly laid down in the books. It had no stately col- 
umns, pillars, dome or tower. But it had a history, and 
hallowed memories which are more significant and endunng. 



342 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

Oil those walls, in invisible letters perhaps, are v/ritten 
many a legend which if compiled would swell to a volume 
as large as "Greeley's Conflict," and some of them perhaps 
quite as thrilling. We had come to think it fire proof. 
Four times it was enveloped in the flames of its more 
stately neighbors, and like Moses' bush it consumed not. 
It had seemed to mourn since the demise of its old com- 
panions, the North Church and Court House. It was the 
retreat of a little band of Patriots who used to gather 
around the midnight lamp, in that quiet ante-room, for the 
double mission of social improvement and political reform : 
\vhich latter, was at that time much needed. Sometimes 
those sessions were continued into the small hours ; not 
from want of harmony, but solely from press of business. Im- 
bued with the spirit of the times, self-denying and earnest, 
they were bold to do and dare. ,0n its roll were New Hampr 
shire's most honored sons. Sad to say, most of them have 
passed away. How much of this recent glorious triumph 
had its germ in that little gathering I Avill not say. I sup- 
pose there may be some mischief-loving persons who as 
they pass will laugh at its destruction. Well ! let them 
laugh — so did Nero on another occasion. For one, I shall 
mourn its loss, and ^yith Mrs. Partington take our cup of 
tea and recite its story in our own humble way." 

To those anniversaries of the " Gilman Blues," where, 
after the evil spirits the bottles contained had disappeared, 
the bottles were arranged in a pyramid on the table to be 
made a target for those who were able to aim a blow at 
i;hem — and the appearance of the sedate landlord to know 
what the " pesky fellows " were doing with his glass 
ware, — it would be well to pass over in silence — and with 
many other like scenes bury with the ruins of the old 
tavern. 

It will be recollected that here were held the corporation 
Kieetings-: — here in that front parlor^ the probate courts 



THE OLD BELL TAVERN. 343 

were held for many years. And who ^yill forget that pro- 
jecting cellar-case door, on the east corner, in front of 
Pritchard's barber's shop, to which the old truckman Daniel 
Lowd was daily carried to receive the alms of the public, 
and the terror he inspired in the school boys at his shrill 
call for his dog Lion, when they annoyed him as they 
stopped to gaze. 

It has since been kept by Samuel Robinson and Oliver 
Potter ; by Samuel Rea, who changed the structure from a 
gambrel roof to a three story building. A second Mr. 
Tilton, Hiram Locke, Jackson & Eowe, and we know not 
but some others, were the landlords after Mr. Rea. 

In 1852, the building was sold to J. P, Morse, Aaron 
Akerman and Hanry M. Clark. The old sign post of the 
blue Bell was soon cut down, and three stores made in 
front. Thus it remained, until the fire in March, 18G7, 
swept it away. Nobody is sorry for its departure — as its 
place is supplied by the handsome three-story block, an or- 
nament to the city, built by Messrs. Henry M. Clark, Aaron 
Akerman and Samuel S. Frye. 



RAMBLE CXLIY 



"W'itclici'aft in I'ortsin.outb. and ISTewcastle — -Deatli of 
HVEolly Bridget — Stone Tlirowing Devils of New- 
castle. 

For a large portion of the century which terminated 
some thirty years since, witchcraft was regarded as a relic 
of ancient superstition ; but now, in the modern develop- 
ments of mesmerism, spiritualism, etc. we have again 
brought up under the auspices of a new science, develop- 
ments everybody in olden time called witchcraft and 



344 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

charged to Satanic influence. It is science now — it was 
witchcraft then. 

Although belief in witchcraft in late years has not been 
general, yet at no time has it been without some wlio have 
liar] a l)elief in it. There are many stories given in proof 
of the agency of evil spirits in conferring superhuman 
powers upon those over whom they had an influence. 

In the time of the Revolution when our almshouse was 
kept by Mr. Clement March, there was among the inmates 
a woman who bore the name of Molly Bridget. She had 
been notorious as a fortune teller. She was regarded as a 
witch in those times, and to her was attributed many of the 
domestic evils of ihat day. Her fame as a witch was wide 
spread. Finding her way to Boston, the police gave her 
warning to leave the city forthwith. ''Why?" she asked. 
" Is not your name Molly Bridget?" " No, sir," she re- 
plied — '' do you think I am such a despicable creature as 
Molly ?" Although she denied the identity, she took pains 
to return by the first opportunity. It was in the year 1782, 
when she was at our almshouse,* that there was trouble in 
the pig stye. The pigs were pronounced bewitched, and 
the remedy resorted to was to cut off the tips of their tails 
and ears. The evil spirits however were not cast out. It 
was then said that those tips must be burned. But 
nothing could be found of them. Mr. March directed that 
all the loose chips and leaves in the yard should be scraped 
up and burned in the several fireplaces in the house. After 
the fires were kindled, Molly hastened from room to room in 
a frenzied manner. She soon went to her own room, and as 
the flames began to subside her sands of life began to run 
out, and before the ashes were cold, sh.e was actuall}- a 
corpse. At the hour fixed for her funeral, arose one of 
those dreadful storms which are said to occur when witches 
are buried. These are facts — how fiir the results Avere 
induced by the superstitious feelings of that day, the reader 



STONE THROWING DEMONS OF NEWCASTLE. 345 

is left to judge. The poor creature might have believed 
herself a witch, and the expectation expressed that the 
burning of the pigs' tails would kill the witch, might have 
SO wrought upon her mind as to produce the result. 

The principal object of this ramble is to bring up some 
of the strange developments which were made in early 
times in what was once a part of Portsmouth, b.ut after 
wards became the town of Newcastle. Cotton Mather, 
who lived in that age, refers to the Stone-Throwing Devil 
of Newcastle, and thus notices it : 

*' On June 11, 1GS2, showers of stones were thrown by 
an invisible hand upon the house of George Walton at 
Portsmouth, [Newcastle.] — Whereupon the people going 
out found the gate wrung off the hinges, and stones flying 
and falling thick about tliem, and striking of them seem- 
ingly with a great force, but really affecting 'em no more 
than if a soft touch were given them. The glass windows 
were broken by stones that came not without, but from 
within ; and other instruments were in like manner hurled 
about. Nine of the stones they took up, whereof some 
were as hot as if they came out of the fire ; and marking 
them they laid them on the table ; but in a little while they 
found some of them again flying about. The spit was car- 
ry'd up the chimney, and coming down with the point 
forward, stuck in the back log, from whence one of the 
company removing it, it was by an invisible hand thrown 
out at the window. This disturbance continued from day 
to da}^ ; and sometimes a dismal hollow lo/iistUng would be 
heard, and sometimes the troiiing and snorting of a horse, 
but nothing to be seen. The man went up the Great Bay 
in a boat onto a farm which he had there ; but there the 
stones found him out, and carrying from the house to the 
boat a sfin'Uj:) iron the iron came jingling after him through 
the woods as far as his house ; and at last went away and 
was heard of no more. The ancJior leaped overboard sev- 
23 



346 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

eral times and stopt the boat. A cheese was taken out of 
tlie press, and crumbled all over the floor ; a piece of iron 
stuck into the wall, and a kettle hung thereon. Several 
cocks of hay, movv-'d near the house, were taken up and 
liung upon the trees, and others made into small whisps, and 
scattered about the house. A man was much hurt by some 
of the stones. He was a Quaker, and suspected that a 
woman, who charged him with injustice in detaining some 
land from her did, by loitchcraft, occasion these preternatu- 
ral occurrences. However, at last they came to an end." 

Thus wrote the reliable Cotton Mather, one hundred and 
sixty-eight years ago. Although he says these things had 
an end, yet there have been some reliable witnesses to 
events of a similar nature on the Pest Island, in the vicinity 
of Newcastle, nearly a century after. When there were 
but two men on this island, things were mysteriously 
moved about the pest house, and unaccountable noises 
heard. Later days have shown as strange things produced 
by mesmeric powers, since table-moving has become an 
everyday occurrence. 

A pamphlet published in London in 1698, gives in quaint 
style, a detailed account of the strange proceedings by an 
eye witness. As the whole account would occupy too 
much space, we make only extracts from the work, which 
bears every mark of authenticity. 

"I have a wonder to relate ; for such (I take it) is so to 
be termed whatsoever is Prceternatural, and not assignable 
to, or the effect of Natural Causes. It is a Lithobolia, or 
stone throwing, which happened by Witchcraft, (as was 
supposed,) and maliciously perpetrated. by an elderly wo- 
man, a^eighbor suspected, and (I think) formerly detected 
for such kind of diabolical tricks and practices ; and the 
wicked instigation did arise upon the account of some 
small quantity of land in her field, which she pretended 
was unjustly taken into the land of the person where the 



STONE THROWING DEMONS OF NEWCASTLE. 347 

scene of this matter lay, and was lier right ; she having 
been often very clamorous about that affair, and heard to 
say with ranch bitterness, that her neighbor {innuendo tho 
forementioned person, his name George Walton) should 
never quietly enjoy that piece of ground. Which, as it 
has confirm'd myself and others in the opinion that there 
are such things as Witches, and the effects of Witchcraft, or 
at least of the mischievous actions of evil spirits. 

"Sometime ago being in America, (in His then Majesty's 
service,) I was log'd in the said George Walton's house, a 
Planter there, and on a Sunday night, about ten o'clock, 
many stones were heard by myself and the rest of the fam^ 
ily, to be thrown and (with noise) hit against the top and 
al sides of the house, after he the said Walton had been at 
his fence-gate, which was between him and his neighbor 
one John Amazeen an Italian, to view it ; for it Avas again 
(as formerly) wrung off the hinges, and cast upon tlie 
ground ; and in his being there, and return home with sev- 
eral persons of (and frequenting) his family and house, 
about a slight shot distance from the gate, they were all 
assaulted with a peal of stones, (taken we conceive, from 
the rocks hard by the House,) and this by unseen hands or 
agents. For by this time I was come down to them, having 
risen out of my bed at this strange alarm of all that were 
in the house, and do know that they all looked out as 
narrowly as I did, or any person could, (it being a bright 
moon-light night) but could make no discovery. There- 
upon, and because there came many stones, and those 
pretty great ones, some as big as my fist, into the entry or 
porch of the House, we withdrew into the next room to 
the Porch, no person having received any hurt, (Praised be 
Almighty Providence, for certainly the infernal agent, con- 
stant enemy to mankind, had he not been over-ruled, 
intended no less than death or maim) save only that two 
3^ouths were hit, one on the leg the other on the thigh, 



S48 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

iiotwitlistanding the stones came so thick and so forcibly 
against the sides of so narrow a room Whilst we stood 
amazed at this accident, one of tlio maidens imagined she 
saw them come from the Ilail next to that we were in, 
where searching, (and in the cellar down out of the Hall,) 
and finding nobody, another and myself observed two little 
stones in a short space successively to lall on the floor, 
coming as from the Ceiling close l)y us, and we concluded 
it must necessarily be done by means extraordinary and 
prasternatural. Coming again into the room where we 
first were, (next the Porch) we had many of these lapidiary 
salutations, but unfriendly ones ; for shutting the door, it 
was no small surprise to me to have a good big stone come 
with force and noise (just b}'- my head) against the door 
on tho inside; and then shutting the other door, next the 
Hall, to have the like accident; so going out again, to have 
another very near rny body, clattering against the board- 
wall of the House; bat it was a much greater, to be so 
near the danger of having my head broke with a Mall, or 
great Hammer brushing along tlie top or roof of the room 
from the other end, as I was walking in it, and lighting 
down by me ; but it fell so, that my Landlord had the great- 
est damage, his windows (especially those of the first men- 
tion'd room) being with many stones miserably and 
strangely batter'd, most of the stones giving the blow on 
the inside, and forcing the bars, lead and hasps of the case- 
ments outward, and yet falling back (sometimes a yard or 
two) into the room; only one little stone we took out of 
the glass of the window, where it lodg'd itself in the break- 
ing it, in a hole exactly fit for the stone. The pewter and 
brass were frequently pelted, and sometimes thrown down 
upon the ground ; for the evil spirit seemed then to effect 
variety of mischief, and diverted himself at this end after 
lie had done so much execution at the other. So were two 
candlesticks, after many hittings, at last struck off the 



STOXE THROWING DEMONS OF NEWCASTLE. S-tO 

table Aviiere they stood, and likewise a large pewter pot, 
^^Mtll the force of these stones. Some of them were taken 
up hot, (and it seems) coming; out of the fire; and some 
(which is not unremarkable) having been laid by me upon 
the table along by couples, and numbered, were found 
missing; that is, two of them, as we return'd immediately 
to the table, having turn'd our backs only to visit and 
view some new stone-cliarge or window-breach, iind this 
experiment was four or five times rej)eated, and I still 
found one or two missing of the number, wlu'eh we all 
mark'd, when I did but just remove the light from olf the 
tab?e, and step to the door and l)ack again. 

'•' After this had continued in all parts and sides of the {]r>t 
room (and down the chimney) for above four hours, I, 
weary of the noise, and sleepy, went to bed. 

" In the morning (Mondaj- morning) I was inform'd liv 
several of the domesticks of more of the same kind of 
trouble ; among which the most signal was, the vanishing 
of the spit which stood in the chimney corner, and the 
sudden coming of it again down the chimney, sticking it 
ill a log that lay in the fire place or hearth ; and then, being 
by one of the family set by on the other side of the chim- 
ney, presently cast out of the window into the back-side. 
Also a pressing iron lying on the ledge of the chimney 
back, was convey'd invisibly into the 3'ard. I should think it 
(too) not unworthy the relation, that, discoursing then v/itli 
some of the family, and others, about what had past, I said, 
I thought it necessary to take and keep the great stone, as 
a proof and evidence, for they had taken it down from my 
chambers; so I carried it up and laid it on my table in my 
chamber, and lock'd my dooi', and going out upon occa- 
sions-, and soon returning, I was told by n^y landhnly tiiut it 
was, a little wlnle after my going forth, removed again, with 
A noise which they all below lloard, and was thrown into 
the ante-chamber, and there I found it lying in tlie middle 



350 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

of it; thereupon I the second time carried it up, and laid 
it on the table, and had it in my custody for a long tme to 
sliow, for the satisfaction of the curious. 

" August 1. On Wednesday the window in my ante-cham. 
ber was bruken again, and many stones were plaid about, 
abroad and in the house, in the- d'aytime,andat night. The 
same day in the m=orning they tried this experiment ; they 
did set on the fire' a pot Avith animal fluid^ and crooked pins 
in it, with design to have it boil, and l)y that means to give 
punishment to the witch or wizard, (that might be the wjcked 
procurer or contriver of this stone affliction) and take ofl" 
their own ; as they l>ad been advised. This was the effect 
of it: As the liquor began to grow hot, a stone came and 
broke the top or mouth of it, and thyew it down, and spilt 
what was in it ; which being made good again, another 
stone, as the pot grew hot again, broke the handle off; 
and being recruited and fi'lled a third time, was then with 
a third stone quite broke to pieces and split^ and so the 
operation became frustrate and fruitless. 

" Friday after, I was present, being newly come in witb 
Mr, Walton from his middle field, (as he called it) where- 
his servants had been mowing, and had six or seven of his 
old troublesome companions^ ami I had one fall'n down by 
me there, and another thin flat stoiw hit me oii the thigh 
with the fiat side of it^ so as to make me just feel, and 
smart a little. In the sanne day's evening, as I was walk- 
ing out in the lane by the field aforementioned, a great 
stone made a rustling noise- in the stone fence- between the 
field and the lane, which seem'd to me (as Jt caused me to 
east my eye that way by the noise) to come out of the 
fence, as it were puU'd out from among the stones loose, 
but orderly laid close together, as the manner of such fen- 
ces in that country is, and so fell down upon the ground. 

"Some persons of note being then in the field (whose 
names are here under written) to visit Mr. Walton there, 



STONE THROWING DEMONS OF NEWCASTLE. 351 

are substantial witnesses of the same stonery, both in the 
field, and afterwards in the house that night, viz : one Mr. 
Huzzy, son of a Counsellor there. He took up one that 
having first alighted on the ground, w^th rebound from 
thence hit him upon the heel ; and he keeps it to show. 
And Captain Barefoot, mentioned above, has that which 
(among other stones) flew into the Hall a little before sup- 
per ; which myself also saw as it first came in at the upper 
part of the door into the middle of the room ; and then 
(tho' a good flat stone, yet,) was seen to rowl over and 
over, as if trundled, under a bed in the same room. In 
short these persons being wondrously affected with the 
strangeness of these passages, offer'd themselves (desiring 
me to take them) as testimonies ; I did so, and made a 
memorandum by way of record thereof, to this effect, viz : 

" 'These persons underwritten do liereby attest tiie trnth of their being 
eye witnesses of at least half a scori; stones that evening thrown invisibly 
into the field, an<l info the entry of the house, hall, and one of the chaju- 
bers of George WaFton's, viz: 

i^amuel Jennings, E.'^q Governor of West Jarsey. 

"Walter Clark, Esq Deputy Governor of Road Island. 

]\Ir. Arthur Cook 

Mr. Matt. Borden of Road Island. 

Mr. Oliver Hooton of Barbados, Mercliant. 

Mr. T. ]\Iaul of Salem in Hew England, Merchant, 

('apt. Walter Barefoot. 

Mr. John Huzzey. 

And the wife of the said Mr. IIuzzv.' '' 



In reply to some inquiries made by us of Rev. Mr. Alden 
of Newcastle, we have received the following letter, giving 
some interesting historical memoranda, 

Newcastle, N. H., Jan. 1, 1802. 
C W. Breicsier, Esq. 

Dear Sir: — Agreeably to your suggestion,! would com- 
municate the following in regard to an article in the His- 
torical Magazine for November last, purporting to be the 



352 RAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

reprint of a tract, entitled '• Litliobolia," by R. C. Esq., 
and published in London in tlie year 1G98. The writer 
states that he had been in America, at Great Ishmd (now 
Newcastle, N. H.) was employed in His Majesty's service 
and lodged in the house of Mr. George Walton. 

It is an inquiry of some interest to the antiquarv 
whether tliis curious and unique treatise will be found to 
be genuine and authentic, on an application of the proper 
tests in similar cases used. In the instance before us, we 
are furnished with a s})Ocincation of the names of persons 
and of places. An examination shows the authenticity of 
ti)e writer in tliese respects. 

Prominent among the names is that of George Walton' 
Adams, in his Annals, states that in the year IGGl, George 
Walton claimed the land at Fort Point, on Great Island, and 
commenced building on it. He subsequently says that one 
of that name here was a long time President of the Pro-* 
vincial Council. 

'■^ John Amazeen, an Italian.'^ He is well known to have 
been an emigrant from Europe, to have settled here at an 
early period. His posterity is numerous in Newcastle. 

"Mr. Randolph,^' in IGSO, was appointed by the King, 
Collector of Customs for Now England, and in 1G83, he 
was Attorney General for the Province of New Hampshire. 

" Captain Walter Barefoot, ^^ was Deputy Collector under 
Randolph, and subsequently Captain of the fort, a judge, 
and President of the Council. 

"Mr. Jeffereij'i, a mzrchant.^' — Georg"^ JafTrey was a 
prominent citizen in this place in IGSt. His ancient man- 
sion built nearly 200 years ago is still stan<}ing, and this re- 
view is being written in one of its chami)ers. 

"One Mrs. ClarJc.^^ — None of this name now reside here, 
l)uttradition says that there was once a family of that name, 
the proprietors of Clark's Island, now so called, and that 
they resided at a little distance from tlie Walton estate. 



STONE THEOWING DEMONS OF NEWCASTLE. 353 

The localities specified. — The traditions of raan}^ aged 
persons concurrently testify that the estate of the Walton 
family was situated about oiie-quarter of a mile from New- 
castle Bridge, on the north side of the road leading to Fort 
Constitution and now owned l\v the Locke family. Some 
of the inhabitants of advanced age recollect the mansion 
house, which was spacious — of two stories and with a gara- 
brel roof; the exact spot is known from the remains of the 
cellar. 

'•The/euce gate between him and his neighbor John Ama- 
zeen^ — The Walton estate adjoins that of Amazeen ; the 
latter having been entailed, remains eseritially as it was at 
that period, and is now owned by Capt. John Amazeen of 
the sixth generation from John the Italian. 

''J Cove bijhis house.''^ — There is now a small and beauti" 
ful cove a few rods south of the ancient cellar of the Wal- 
ton mansion. 

^^Oreat Bayf is a well known sheet of water, and a very 
prominent locality in Rockingham county. 

'■'■The Stone Fence between the Field and the Za/ze." — X"o 
road passed through the Walton estate till the Newcastle 
Bridge' Avas built, about the year 1821. Previously the 
only passage way to Amazeen's and Walton's was a lane, as 
is well remembered by the present inhabitants. 

As regards aathenticitij of the narration, it may be read- 
il}' allowed, in so far as relates to the unquestionable fact 
of a popular delusion concerning Witchcraft, which at thfit 
period extensively prevailed. All who are familiar with 
the history of New England in the 17th century, need not 
be informed of this fact. The occurrences detailed in this 
treatise, as absurd and ridiculous as they are, and, if al- 
lowed to be real, must be classed with the miraculous, yet 
are not more marvelous than those relating to the same 
subject as recorded in Bancroft's History of ihe United 
States, Felt's History of Salem, Barber's Historical Notes 



354: RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

on Andover, Mass., and Adams' Annals of this Settlement, 
under date 1G56. It is well known that Rev. Joshua 
Moody, minister here at that period, stood almost alone in 
opposing this pernicious delusion, and was the means of 
saving the lives of some persons of eminence, accused of 
Witchcraft. And there are now among the older citizens 
here traditions of this " Lithobolia, or Stone-Throwing 
Demon" And it is said, that at a later period, gravel on 
the beach has been thrown at some persons, as was sup- 
posed, by invisible hands. 

As regards the definite object of the writer and publisher 
of this Treatise, it may be no easy matter to decide. On 
supposition that the production is spurious, and got up by 
some Wag as a hoax for the antiquary, it may be said of 
the author, he has outdone his own hero, '^ Lithobolia," 
the Stone-Throwing Demon himself. 

Most respectfully, Lucius Alden. 



UAMBLE CXLY. 

*riie ir'orm.ei- ]MeTl of IPortsinouth — Ancient ]J"ili^rLittare* 

In 18G2, John G. Brewster, then in his 83d year, fur- 
nished the following record of the deaths of old people in 
Portsmouth. He himself passed away October 10, 1867, at 
the age of 89 years 9 months. 

" When the mind is active, and we look back to former 
years, even to our childhood and j^outh, and remember well 
the looks and appearance of many of the aged men of 
those days, we can say in the language of the prophet of 
old — " Our fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do 
live forever?" The Scriptural answer is — " Few and evil 
are the days of the years of thy servants hero on earth." 



THE FORMER MEN OF PORTSMOUTH. 



555 



1787- 



]78S- 
1791- 

1792- 

1795- 

1797- 



IRW- 
180L- 
l»il-'- 

1803- 

1805- 



1807- 
1808- 

1809- 

1810- 
l»i|- 
1»12 



A'awe. Jge. 

■Clement March 78 

Daniel Fowle 72 

Noah Paiker 64 

Eilmund Roberts. . .4<5 
■Olcnient Jackson... 83 

■Jacob Sheafe 76 

Daniel Hart 50 

-John Lant'don 41 

John Fornald 50 

-Josepn Alcock 77 

GeorRB Hart, jr 40 

Michael Wentworth 7t> 
John • herburne. . . .77 

Hall.Iaclison 58 

Stephen Hardy BS 

-Eleazer Riisseil 76 

Elisha Hill 55 

-Jeremiah Hill 48 

•John Noble 6i5 

Josiiua Brackelt. . .fi9 

(ieorjie Jaffrey 86 

-Samuel Kice 59 

John Fernald 58 

■VVooclhnrv Lan?don.66 

John Pickering 08 

Thomas Manin 73 

Stephen Chaso 61 

-John Slendum 68 

Samnel Haven 79 

Eliphalet La.ld 63 

-Samuel Hale 89 

Georjro Hart 77 

■ ilicliard BilllnKB. . . .75 
.lonathan M Sowall.60 
Walter Akerman. . . .71 

Geor<:(! Gains 73 

Theodore Furber. . .58 
-Nathaniel Jackson. .69 

-Supply Clapp 69 

-Kichiird Swlter 68 



Professirn 


Difd 


Keeper Alms- 


1812- 


Printer[houee 




Rev. Univ. 




Sea Captain 


1813- 


Doctor 




Merchant 


1814- 


Joiner 




Tanner 


1815- 


Founder 




Trader 


1816- 


Laborer 


1S17- 


Gentleman 


1818 


Merchant 




Doctor 


1819- 


Tailor 


1820- 


Naval Officer 




I'.lacksmith 




Joiner 




Keeper Alms 


1821- 


Doctor [house 




Merchant 


1822- 


Sea Captain 




Captain 


1823- 


Merchant 




Judge 




Meichant 


1824- 


Merchant 




Sea Captain 


1825- 


Rev. Dr. 


1827- 


Merchant 


18.9- 


School teach'r 




Blacksmith 




Captain 


1830- 


Lawyer 




Tanner 




Town Agent 


1832- 


Captain 


1838- 


Farmer 


1844- 


Merchant 


1849- 


Captain 


1851- 



J^awf. Ae'- 

-Samuel Hill 67 

Neil Mclntire 68 

Jos Buckmiiister. . .61 
-I'iniotliy Gerrish. . ..60 

Jolin March 55 

-John Ceirce 68 

James Hill 58 

-I'enjaniin Slade 80 

Eicli'd I hampney. 71 
-Joseph Whipple. .. .78 

-William Cutler 48 

David Krewster. . . .79 

M'm. Brewster 77 

-John Langdon 79 

-\Vm Langdon 82 

Animi Cutter 86 

Micha'l Whidden. ..87 

Richard Hart 87 

-George Massey 70 

1 imoihy Ham 79 

— R. C. Shannon 77 

Joseph Walton 80 

-Robeit Ham 85 

John FlafTS 59 

Natiri Keniiard 68 

-Jere'h l.ibbey 76 

Nath'l Jackson 60 

-Samuel Ham 83 

-John Bowles 72 

-John Goddard 73 

Gideon Walker «3 

Jacob Sheafe 84 

-Thomas Sheafe 80 

Clement MorsT 70 

Samuel Fernald 74 

-Joseph AkcrmaD... .92 

-William Ham 84 

-Ktndal Fernald 92 

-'ihoriias Spinney... .83 
-Mark Green 89 



. Profffsion. 
Merchant 
Tobacconist 
Rev Dr 
Goldsmith 
Sadler 

Bank Offici^r 
Illacksmiib 
Trader 
Merchant 
Naval officer 
Docior 
Jollier 
Taverrer 
Governor 
Tariner 
Doctor 
Joiner 
Merchant 
Gentleman 
Joiner 
Lawyer 
Revere nd 
Farmer 
Captain 
Captain 
Gentleman 
Tanner 
Farmer 
Captain 
Merchant 
Miller 
Meichant 
Merchant 
Merchant 
Town ( It-rk 
Cordwainer 
Merchant 
White tmith 
Laborer 
Boat build er 



'Tis but a few whose days can count 
To three score years and ten 

And all beyniid that short amount 
Is sorrow, toil and piin." 



A venerable bureau Avas recently exhibiteil at a town 
fair in Connecticut, which was brouglit to this country at 
its early settlement, and is still preserved in the same fam- 
ily. A chair that has been in one family 150 years, and 
another some 200 years old, were also exhibited. 
■ We have in daily use, and as good as new, four chairs 
made by our great grandfather, John Gains, in 1728. lie 
built the house in the rear of the Mechanics Reading Room 
in that year, and these chairs he made for his parlor. The 
Marseilles counterpane Avhich was in use in the family befure 



356 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

our grandmother's birth, in 1739, we also have in as good 
condition as it was a hundred and twenty years ago. A 
looking-glass which formed a part of the furniture when 
" that old house was new," bears more the marks of age, 
and has for several years reflected the countenances of the 
inmates of the Journal office. When our venerated ances- 
tor used to look in this glass, there were but fuur news- 
papers published in the United States. 

[Note. — The old mirror hung unharmed in the .Journal office 
uvitil the Fridiy evenino; prexious to the death of the wi'iter of 
these Rambles. Then by a singular coincidence, just as the last 
number of the last paper previous to his decease was worked off, 
the glass was biokcu by an accidental blow. — Ed.] 



RAMBLE CXLVI. 

*ri^e ISpiscoiDal Clnarcli "5rai'tl. 

In the last Iliml)le is given the names of sonie of the 
Portsmouth citizens who took an active part in public 
affairs between the time of the war of the Revolution and 
that of 1812. The list might be considerably extended,— 
but we will not not now attempt it. While thus marshal- 
ing this company of the p:ist, it is not out of place to enter 
one of the saored enclosures where some of them are 
resting from their labors 

Among the early cemeteries of Portsmouth was that of 
the St. John's Churchyard. This was used as a cemetery 
some twenty years before the first interment was made iu 
the old North B;irying Ground. Within the walls of this 
Churchyard rest the remains of the principal and higliest 
in rank, in their lime, of the inhabit;ints of Portsmouth 
previous to the Revolution. Here are the remains of the 



THE EPISCOPAL CHUECH YAKD. 357 

Governors, Counsellors, and Secretaries of the Province of 
New Hampsliire, in the colonial days — for it was then in 
the Church of England that all felt obligated to worship 
Avho held an office under the Crown. So the Ground 
around the church was the place where they also, with 
the humblest citizens, mingled in one common dust, at 
death. 

The Church that stood on the spot where St. John's 
Church now stands was built in 1732 and was called 
"Queen's Chapel." About ten years since, on rebuilding 
the wall around the Burying Ground, the tombs became 
for a short time exposed. They were large, and quite full, 
some containing the remains of upwards of one hundred 
j)ersons. One was, however, opened with the remains of 
bnt one person, in the centre of the tomb, who no doubt 
was the proprietor. It belonged, according to the records 
of the Church, to Mr. Christopher Rymes, and no doubt 
had not been opened for one hundred and twenty years. 

There is also a tomb in the middle of the yard called the. 
Governors' tomb. In this tomb were placed the remains 
of the several Governors Wentworth (except the last), with 
their families. Some sixty years ago this tomb was opened, 
disclosing the cofiQns of occupants, their standing designat- 
ed by the escutcheons, coats of arms, lion, unicorn, etc. that 
were on their lids. The rusty remains of a highly polished 
sword, laid on one, reminded, with these coffin ornaments, 
of the words of the poet : — 

" Shall wo build Ambition I Ah, no; 
Affrighted it fhriuketh au.iy, 
Aiifl nothiiifr is left but the tlust below, 
Aud the tinsel that shines on the dark, coflin lid." 

The whole enclosure on the north of the church is suffi- 
ciently elevated to permit entrance to the tombs from the 
street. Here are the tombs of the Atkinsons, the Sher- 
burnes, the Jafifreys, the Peirces, the Sheafes, the Marshes, 
the Mannings, the Halls, the Gardners ; and the remains of 



358 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

many others of latter days here repose, — among them hon- 
ored names, whose fame needs no tomb-stone to perpetuate 

them. 

* 

By the liberally of one of the descendants of the Sheafe 
family, (J. Fisher Sheafe, Esq. of New York,) a handsome and 
substantial iron fence was erected on the walls of this an- 
cient churchyard a few years since ; thus not only making 
more secure the sacred depository of the dead and confer, 
ring an acceptable present to the Church, but also making 
the enclosure a city ornament. 

Could we in imagination go back through a century, 
we might here see many splendid arrays of carriages with 
footmen, servants,- and military display paraded around 
these tombs, to pay the last respect to the illustrious dead, 
and hear the beautiful service of the church, consigning 
them to their last resting place, read by the venerable 
Arthur Brown, as in later days it has been read by tho 
talented and sympathizing Burroughs : 

" I am the resurrectinn and tho life, saith the Lord : he that believeth in me, though he 
were dead yet shall he live ; and whosoever livetli and believeth in me sh.iU never die." 



RAMBLE CXLVII. 



Tlxe Oldest I-Ioiase iia Oux' State. 

The oldest house now standing, built in Portsmouth, is 
the quaint brick house on the Week's farm in Greenland. 
This is no blunder, although it may seem like one — for at 
the time that house was built, Greenland was a part of 
Portsmouth. We can find no written record of the yeat 
of its being built, but a family tradition dates its erection 
in 1638, by the father of Leonard Weeks. Leonard was 



THE OLDEST HOUSE IN OUR STATE. 359 

born not far from that time, and had four sons, John born 
1668, Samuel born 1670, Joseph born 1671, John born 1674, 
Mary and Margaret. From Samuel the present owner of 
the farm descended. The house was built on the main 
road — but the straightening of the road half a century ago, 
throws it on a circular lane several rods on the side. The 
speckled appearance of the house is made by having black 
headers scattered among the bricks all over the front. The 
bricks were burnt in front of the house. The walls of 
the house are eighteen inches thick. It is of two stories: 
the lower story is 8 1-2 feet, the second 8 feet. The win- 
dows were originally of small diamond glass set in lead. 
Some of them have been in the house within the last fifty 
years. The timbers used throughout the house and for 
the roof are all of hard wood. The beams in the cellar are 
squared 12 by 14 inches. Thp sleepers are of red oak, 
about 10 inches in diameter, with the bark on. There are 
planks on the inside of the walls, and the plastering is on 
reft wood nailed to the plank. There are marks of the 
liouse being injured by an earthquake, probably in 1755. 
If tradition is correct, this is the oldest house in New Eng- 
land, being 228 years old. 

In the old records we find that " On the 8th of Oct. 1663, 
at a meeting of the Selectmen (of Portsmouth,) at Green- 
land to lay out the hiwayes a hiwaye laid out from Winecoto 
river falls east or thare aboutes to Samuel Haines is house 
and from thence the hieway is to rune to Hamton hiwaye 
where it now lies by Ffrances Drake feild which is now 
inclosed, these hiwaye is to be tow rod in bredth. 

''There is also a hiwaye lade out over against Leonard 
Weikes house and is to goo through his land soue and by 
west or thare abouts until it comes to the common land." 

The same year a contract was made for making a foot 
and horse path through Great Swamp. 

It is probable that the early connection with Strawberry 



360 EAMBLES ABOUT POETSMOUTH. 

Bank was by the river. The house was evidently built as 
a sort of garrison, with a view of safety from being burnt 
by tlie Indians. 

Feb. 4, 1660, we fincl ''Leonard Weikes' " account for 
town services allo^yed. In 1662, he was a Selectman of 
Eortsmouth. 



EAMBLE CXLVIII. 

The Dead Elixi on South Road. * 

Green and fresh as early childhood is the general aspect 
o.f Auburn-Street Cemetery. No wilted shrubbery, no de- 
caying tree, is to be met with in its extensive avenues. It 
seems more like a place of life than a residence for the 
dead. But such is not the aspect of the whole vicinity 
outside of its walls. Opposite its north-west corner on the 
north side of the road, stands as a " dJemento 3Iori, " a huge 
skeleton, sixty to seventy feet in height, with sinuous feet 
stretching far beneath the soil, and from a body of naaster- 
dom size, extend five long weather beaten arms far into the 
air, seeming to say to all visitors to the spot, 

" I am Old Mortality— 
As I now am, so you must hfi : 
Once a fresh and visoroiis tree 
Was Ui,is sear Mortality. '* 

That old elm, on which the lightnings have so often 
played, that it has been without a leaf for many years, 
should not pass away, as it now appears to be gradually, 
without a sHght sketch of its eirly history. As trees 
do not travel, they have not much to tell — but are content 
with casting a cooling shade npou those who may come un- 
der their branches. Do you seethe peculiar form of that 
old trunk? It has the size of twenty feet in circumference 



THE DEAD ELM OX SOUTH ROAD. 361 

i 

up to twice your height from the ground, and then divides 
off into five branches of nearly equal size — each branch six 
fset in diameter, as large as almost any of our forest trees. 
Now when that tree sprang up, about 135 years ago, it was 
as regular in form as the beautiiul elms generally are. So 
it grew for a few years. We will look at it in 1732, per- 
haps on the very day on which Washington ^vas born, but 
for this we cannot vouch. 

This was then the niiiiti road to the Plains and Rve, and 
was the principal thoroughfare. Here comes along a man 
on horseback with his bag of meal from Pickering's mills. 
The horse is soon to go up a little elevation in the road, 
and needs something to quicken his pace. So the rider 
approaches this young elm and breaks off, for a switch, the 
top of the thrifty tree. It is done with a twist, leaving the 
broken end fibrous. Thus the main body of the tree was 
stopped in its progress, and the five branches, which other- 
wise would not have appeared, shot forth at this place. 

This old elm has never parted with its five venerable 
children, but continues still to bear them up, although they 
are all alike dead, well representing a decayed family 
standing solely upon its high pedigree. One main branch 
has become disintegrated from the main body — but seems 
not ready to depart, for above it interlocks its arms with its 
old associates — and thus is left, perhaps for years, to be in 
a state of suspense ; if not fearful to itself, it is to the passer 
by. But the branches are not held up in vain, every one of 
them points towards the cemetery — some inclining earth- 
ward and others towards the sky. This Old Mortality 
thus appears in its huge vegetable skeleton to preach its 
sermon on the transitory nature of earth, exhibiting in its 
own image the changes which may be made through life, in 
animal and moral as well as vegetable formation, by influ- 
ences in youth which are hardly thought of by those who 
are the agents that use them. Was there ever a more 
24 



362 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

impressive illustration of the adage — "Just as the twig is 
bent, the tree is incHned. " 

Within sight of this tree have some of the most exciting 
local scenes transpired. Here was the training field before 
the Plains were laid out for the purpose. A few rods west 
of this old tree was buried in the road the body of Eliphaz 
Dow, who in 1755 was hung on a gallows in that neighbor- 
hood for the murder of Peter Clough. And thirteen years 
after, a few rods from it was hung Ruth Blay, also for ' 
murder. By the side of this tree Gov. Burnet passed in 
1729, and Gov. Belcher many times in years after, when 
" Boston was so distant from Portsmouth, and the roads so 
bad, that he could only make one annual visit." This tree 
Gov. Wentworth made his turning point when he came 
from his Little Harbor seat into town, and when its shade 
was larger, John Hancock, George Washington and -a host 
of eminent men passed near if not beneath its shadow. 
And in later years, as the cemetery gates are opened to re- 
ceive some new comer, the huge skeleton stands out to the 
mournful procession in its full proportions, like the 
apocalyptic angel, who proclaims that time shall be no 
longer. 

[Note. — Shortly after this Ramble was written, in 1862, by 
the hand that, after the labors of a busy lifetime, is now at rest 
in the cemetery just across the way, the old elm was felled 
by the woodman's ax. But the Ramble remains, and we give 
it an appropriate place at the close of this book. — Ed] 



FIFTY YEARS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 363 



RAMBLE CXLIX. 

Fifty Years in a Printing Office ^- Our Ow"n. and the 
■World's IPi'ogress. 

This day* closes a half-century since the senior proprietor 
entered this office as an apprentice to the art and mystery of 
Printing. That memorable day was the 16th Feb. 1818. 
The paper was then called the ''Portsmouth Oracle" and 
was published by Charles Turell. In 1821,it^vas purchas- 
ed by Nathaniel A. Haven, jr. who changed the name to 
•" The Portsmouth Journaj, of Literature and Politics." 
The plain style of heading adopted by him has never been 
changed. The paper then had four columns to the page, and 
contained about half as much reading as now. After Mr. H. 
had conducted the paper four years in a manner which gave 
it a high standing in the community, in July, 1825, the Jour- 
nal establishment Vv-as purchased by the present senior 
proprietor in connection with T. H. Miller. It was the» 
removed into the room now occupied as the office, and for 
four years Col. C. AV. Cutter was assistant editor. In 1833, 
the present senior proprietor purchased the establishment 
and took the sole management of the paper. There has 
been no change since, except the admission of his son to 
joint-partnership in 1853. 

The Oracle was published in a chamber in Market street 
on the site of C. H. Mendum & Co.'s store. As it was 
removed to Ladd street in 1825, the senior, who removed 
with it, has really been in the same office fifty years — never 
having worked a week in any other office. 

o Note.— In his publication of the number of the Portsmouth Journal dated Feb. 15, 
1S68, the Rambler gives this record of a busy lifetime. It is copied just as written, and, 
■p'liile more particularly prepiireJ for his newspaper, is such a chronicle of individual and 
general chanties and chpracteristics, ibat it fornix o^ie oj the caost intere&ling features of 
jtbis book. — Ed. 



364 EAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

His relaxations from business in that long term Lave 
been few and short — never having been absent at the pub- 
lication of two successive papers in the whole time, ex- 
cepting five weeks in 1830, from sickness. Onl}^ on one day 
besides, does he recollect being absent from his office from 
indisposition, in the whole fifty years. Twice to Bangor, 
thrice to the White Mountains, twice to New York, once 
to Philadelphia, and once to Canada, comprise the whole 
circuit of his distant excursions. He has attended four 
sessions of the State Legislature and the State Constitu- 
tional Convention — but not to the neglect of the paper, 
spending some time in the office each week. 

When he entered the office in 1818, he well recollects 
the load of wood it was his lot to carry over two flights of 
stairs, and how grateful was the privilege of then resting 
at an old pied brevier case, on which he took his first lesson 
in type-setting. It was some relief, after setting a column 
of pi, to have a regular paragraph to put in tj^pe. The 
first line for which he explored the case was this : " The 
passions, after having been tyrants, become slaves in their 
turn." 

Another early paragraph has never been forgotten : ''The 
follies of youth are drafts on old age, payable forty years 
after date with interestJ^ It is as fresh to him now as 
though put in type yesterday, and certainly has never pro- 
duced an}' injnry in leading to a total abstinence from 
alcohol and tobacco. 

The first manuscript he put in type was an article from 
the pen of Rev. Dr. Burroughs, then a young man of 
thirty. His chirography has not changed in the half-cen- 
tury. It was on the Lancasterian system of education, 
just being introduced. The Dr. finished the corrections of 
his proof at midnight on Friday, and then the printing of 
the paper for the morning issue was begun. This late hour 
was the custom of the office in those days. The whole of 



FIFTY YEARS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 365 

Friday night was usually spent in the office, as our fellow- 
apprentices, John T. Gibbs, John R. Reding and George 
Wadleigh, will recollect. 

As he has resided in the same locality the whole fifty 
years, (only removing " over the way" when he commenced 
housekeeping forty years ago) — the distance from his resi- 
dence to the office, 2300 feet, has been walked at least four 
times every day on an average. Thus has he passed over 
27,150 miles in one beaten track, compassing more than a 
circuit round the world, — and that too without the noto. 
riety a short and hurried walk to Cliicago* might give. 

Has not this sameness been tiresome ? may be asked. 
no, it has had its variety in. scenery — it has its variety 
also, in the change 'of fellow travellers. 

The changes of the seasons present in the hundred and 
twenty trees daily passed^ the bud, the blossom, the full 
foliage, the autumnal tinges, and the strong and muscular 
bare limbs of the winter months. They are all company 
to him in their associations. He has seen, in fifty years, 
other trees in the same spots where the largest and loftiest 
elms, of eight or ten feet in circumference, now stand. 
That at the opening of Pearl street, he saw Ricker Hill 
put down when a twig. The spot where stands the 10-ft. 
elm in front of Geo. W. Haven's, was occupied less than fifty 
years ago by a large horsechestnut, which had taken the 
place of a lofty Lombardy poplar. And that 8-ft. elm in front 
of the Academy has its historical remembrance. The.Com- 
missioner of the Sandwich Islands now at Washington will 
recollect the day when his father ajtplied to him the feri'ule 
for aspiring so high as to break oft' the tree twelve feet from 
the ground, where the large branches now spread from the 
main trunk. T. Starr King was witness on the occasion. 
There have been trees on the way set out b}' lady hands, 
which are held sacred by their departure. One might h;ive 



* Refeieiice Is here made to Weston's w;i k iti 186S. 



3G6 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

been seen a few years since, which had no claim to beauty 
or vigor, but was for years in a dying state, and like a tomb- 
stone told only of affection for the departed. 

Even from the pavements over which he walks, some as- 
sociations arise. Passing fifty years ago over ft long grav- 
elly walk lined by a row of posts on one side, and the red 
fence of the Adams garden on the other, he did not reach 
any pavements until arriving at Mrs. Buckminister's prem- 
ises. Thence the flat stones were laid to Market street. 
Now the brick walk extends the whole distance, and far 
west. As we pass the old granite at the street crossings, 
the mysterious seams in the rocks bring up thoughts of 
primeval times — the square and the octagon stone passes 
bring up the mechanical contest of years gone by— and 
when these stones on a frosty morning display the rich 
traces Of the frost, who cannot find ' sermons in stones V 

Of the male heads of families resident on Islington and 
Congress streets fifty years ago, there now survive only" 
John P. Lord, Samuel Lord, James F. Shores and Henry 
Goddard. 

All the old occupants of the houses on these streets fifty 
years ago have passed away, and their places have been 
supplied by another generation, just then entering upon 
manhood. He can now look upon these as men of three 
score and ten, — but somehow they do not look as old men 
did to him fifty years ago. Among the old residents he 
might name Messrs. Akermans, Ham, Jaclcso^, Fitzgerald, 
Halliburton, Barnes, Story, Fernald, H. S. Langdon, Hill, 
Folsom, Haven, Storer, Abbott, Sheafe, Parrott, J. Melch- 
er, Treadwell, Dean, Cutter, Rogers, Bell, Dearborn, Lake- 
inan, Brewster, Gerrish. Goddard, Rice, Webster, Clark, 
John Langdon 2d, N. Melcher, Sowersby, Call, Robhison, 
ftishop, Bartlett, Mcintosh, Isaac Waldron, Wildes anct 
others. Only step for an hour into the shop of John Gaines^ 
the watchmaker, where politics were always on the tapis^ 



FIFTY YEAKS IN A PRINTIXG OFFICE. 367 

and you would meet the leading politicians of the day dis- 
cussing the aftairs of the nation. They are now all gone. 
In the shop next east of John Gains's might be seen John 
Somerby, apparently not five years older now than then, 
industriously engaged in upholstery. Next comes the old 
Bell Tavern, Avhere 'Squire Brown and Samuel Bea reap- 
pear, with Jacob Pritchard the barber, whose shop was in 
that tavern. Daniel Lowd is sitting on the cellar case- 
ment in front, leaning on his staff — and Supply Ham in the 
little shop behind his window of watches, as regular as a 
chronometer, and as reliable. Then George Ham might be 
seen in the old Billings house, with a magnifier held by his 
eyelids, and his sons Nathaniel and Daniel aiding him in 
regulating time. Then tha old Walker house, where Robert 
Metlin the baker lived, who probably knew nothing of sal- 
eratiis, for he died in 1787 at the age of 115 years. Then 
came the mansion where " Sally Allen " kept her millinery 
store — and next the '^ fortunate " lottery office of G. W. 
Tuckerman, which afterwards became Peduzzi's confec- 
tionery. There, too, is the ancient Court House on Mar- 
ket-Square, and the venerable North Church behind it. 
There are now in Portsmouth eight handsome Churches, 
and four Chapels, none of which, {except the Episcopal and 
Universalist Churches) were built in 1818. The two latter 
were built in 1808. One other large brick church on 
Pleasant street was built about forty years ago, and has 
been made into a dwelling house. Fifty years ago the 
Unitarian Society occupied the Old South Church — the 
Congregational Society the Old North, in neither of which 
the parishioners had confidence that the cold blasts of 
winter could be overcome by the heat of stoves — and 
so only those who could endure with philosophic firm- 
ness the cold house for three hours on the Sabbath, were 
punctual in their attendance. The ladies were generally 
provided with foot-stoves and moccasins — gentlemen wore 



3G8 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

galoches — India rubber shoes had not then been discovered. 
The Methodist Society then occupied the building in the 
avenue on Vaughan street, now used as a stable. The Free- 
will Baptists occupied what is now called the Temple. The 
germs of Avhat after became the Middle-street Baptist 
Church, were gathered in the church of the Independents 
on Court street, on the site of the present Unitarian Chapel. 
The Sandemanian Society worshipped in the chamber of 
the brick school house on State street. The Society is now 
extinct. These were all the religious societies in Ports- 
mouth fifty years ago. The Brick School house readily 
designated a locality, for all the other school houses were 
old wooden buildings, better fit for pigs tlian for children. 
Now we have seven brick school houses — one of which 
cost more than all the school houses in Portsmouth fifty 
years ago. Not one of the public school houses of 1818, 
except that on State street, now remain. 

The only organ then, was that in St. John's Church. 
There were no Sunday Schools, no Temperance meetings, 
no Lyceum lectures. There was no Hearse in Portsmouth. 
The bier might be seen in the entries of the churches, and 
the friends or neighbors of the deceased bore them to their 
graves. There were no carriages used for funerals tl-.en — 
nor was there an Auburn street or Harmony-Grove Cem- 
etery. 

Fifty years ago the present lower room of the Athe- 
neum was an insurance office, and the chamber over it was 
St. John's Masonic Hall. The Atheneum was just incor- 
porated, and its five hundred volumes were on shelves in 
the room over John H. Bailey's store on Congress street. 
There were then no bridges to connect Portsmouth with 
Maine, or with Newcastle, or with Rye over Sagamore 
creek. Lafayette road Avas not then opened, and Rye 
Beach was less tliought of as a place of resort than New- 
i igtou — Piscataqua Bridge being then tlie great place of 



FIFTY YEARvS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 369 

attraction to parties of pleasure. The Assembly House 
at what is now Riitt's Court, was then the only place in 
town for public exhibitions and balls. 

Fifty years ago, an old dilapidated building on the pres- 
ent site of the Court House, was the •' Work House," as it 
was called. In it was " Union Hall,'' where the Selectmen 
held their meetings, and enjoyed an annual supper. That 
noble brick edifice which now stands on the City Farm 
well supplies its place. The Stone Jail has been built in 
that time, and within fifty years the iron staples have been 
taken from the top of the corner of the lence in front of 
the jail, to which we have seen the hands of many a culprit 
fastened, while his bare back received the cat-o-nine-tails, 
every blow leaving a ridge, while the cries for mercy rent 
the air. It is but a few years more than half a century 
that these scenes were witnessed at the close of almost 
every term of the County Courts. And we have seen also 
the branding process, when the horse thief was pinioned 
down on the broad stone at the west door of the jail, and 
with a cork filled with needles, India ink was pricked in 
over his forehead and down his nose, to form the letter T. 
The erection of our State Prison happily terminated these 
legal barbarities. 

There Avas no imposing factory building in Portsmouth 
fifty years ago. The spinning wheel was then as much more 
common than the piano, as the piano now exceeds in number 
the spinning wheels. Mrs. Tucker's loom in Tanner street 
used to do the weaving for many families. There was a 
windmill for grinding bark on the spot wdiere the car house 
of the Concord railroad stands — and on the spot where the 
Concord station house now is, stood that long black build- 
ing, the Old Distillery. On the highest point between 
Russell and Green streets stood Bowles's windmill for 
grinding grain. 

But enough of local for our present purpose. To look 



370 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

at Portsmouth now and compare it with what it was fifty 
years ago, no one will deny that it has made steady prog- 
ress in many important particulars — such as we may well 
be proud of. 

The changes in the outer world have been as great as in 
any half-century since the flood. The printer's eye is 
naturally cast first on the progress of that art which is the 
preservation of all arts. In 1818, he put in type a para- 
graph which announced a new discovery in paper making. 
In March of that year, Messrs. Gilpin, on the Brandywine, 
gave notice of a discovery whereby paper can be made by 
machinery, in a continuous sheet of any length. Until then 
every sheet of paper was made singly by hand, and when 
used for paper hangings, sheets were pasted together to 
make the roll. This discovery saved more than half the 
expense of labor in paper manufacture. 

Fifty years ago the most rapid Printing Presses in this 
country could not print more than 300 impressions per 
hour. The London Literary Gazette, in March 1818, an- 
nounced that a wonderful invention had just been made in 
England, whereby one thousand sheets of that paper could 
be printed in an hour. It says that it is an improvement 
on the steam press of the London Times, which had been 
in operation about three years. Now, 30,000 impressions 
are made per hour by the Hoe presses, and only last month 
it was announced that a new press in Paris is sending out 
600 impressions per minute ! Although this statement 
needs confirmation, yet the known facts show that the pro- 
gress of Printing in the last fifty years has been greater 
than from the time of its discovery in 1429 to 1818. 

Fifty years ago he thinks there was not a City in any 
New England state, excepting Connecticut. The town 
of Boston contained about fifty thousand inhabitants. 
The cities of Lowell, Lawrence, Nashua and Manchester 
had not even received a name, — and the flowing waters 



FIFTY YEARS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 371 

of the Cocheco and Salmonfalls were only used for grist 
and saw mills. Boston then had but one daily paper, the 
Boston Daily Advertiser, three or four years old. It was 
about half the present size of the Journal. The Boston 
Chronicle &/■ Patriot was published on Mondays and Thurs- 
days, the New England Palladium on Tuesdays and Fridays, 
and the Columbian Centinel on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 
These were all the regular commercial newspapers of 
Boston fifty years ago. The Daily Advertiser, now the 
first newspaper in New England, is the only survivor. 

There are but few papers on our exchange list which 
have remained for fifty years. The Boston Daily Adver- 
tiser, the Saleni Gazette, the Salem Register, the N^ewbury- 
port Herald, the Keene Sentinel, the Concord Patriot, and 
the Amherst Cabinet, were in 1818 and are now on our 
ej^change list. 

Fifty years ago the art of Lithography was undiscovered - 
tie well recollects the admiration excited by the first spec- 
imens of the new discovery. Daguerre had not then 
dreamed of enlisting the services of the sun to produce 
truer pictures than the fifty preceding centuries had ever 
known. 

In 1818, the application of steam to propelling river 
boats was but just commenced. Fulton made his first ex- 
pedition in 1807, and died in 1815. In 1818 there were on 
the Mississippi but 23 steamboats, where there now are 
over 1600, In 1818 the first outside boat commenced 
tunning between New York and New Orleans. In 1819 a 
company in Georgia built a steamer, called the Savannah, 
atid sent her to Europe. This was the first time the ocean 
had been crossed by steam power. But nearly twenty 
years elapsed before any regular line of steamers was es- 
tablished. In that time the foreign news was received 
with no regularity. Thirty and forty days from Europe 
Avas not unusual, and sometimes we were favored with the 



372 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

latest dates by arrivals at Portsmouth. But the regular 
ten-days trips of the steamers are now put in the distance 
hy another discovery of the day, the Telegraph, which will 
make a circuit round the world in less than the " forty 
minutes" of Shakspeare's fanciful imagination. 

Fifty years ago our golden fields in California, then be- 
longing to Mexico, were unexplored — and the present fuel 
of our whole country laid in its undisturbed beds in Penn- 
sylvania — the " great unknown," — -as was the author of 
Waverly, then at work on that array of novels which long 
after were acknowledged the productions of Sir Walter 
Scott. 

In 1818, Napoleon Bonaparte who had been a terror in 
Europe, and was still the lion of the day, was yet alive, held 
in St. Helena. His brother Joseph was in Philadelphia, 
Louis in Pome, and Jerome in Austria; their mother was 
also alive in Italy. Lafayette and his son were also then in 
France, and six 3'ears after came to America. All have 
since departed and passed into history. 

Turnpikes were the only internal improvements made 
previous to 1818. There had been but two inconsiderable 
canals constructed in the whole country previous to that 
time — the Middlesex canal, connecting the Merrimac river 
with Boston, 27 miles ; and the Santee and Charleston 
canal of 22 miles. The Champlain canal was constructed 
in 1824, the great Erie canal of 365 miles in 1826, the Ohio 
canal of 300 miles in 1832, and twelve other large canals 
were constructed in the country up to 1832 — when Rail- 
road facilities took the place of many of them, and stopped 
this mode of internavigation. The project of connecting- 
lake Winnipisseogee with the tide water of the Piscataqua 
was also abandoned when the steam horse promised to do 
the labor better and more speedily. These improvements 
have all been brought forth in the country while the writer 
has been quietly noting their progress from his '•'loophole 
of retreat." 



FIFTY YEARS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 373 

When he entered this office, but one President of the 
United States had deceased. The progress of the Repub- 
lic Avas then looked upon and still aided by the counsels of 
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Mon- 
roe was then the favorite President, whom no party op- 
posed. In various positions were then scattered through 
the land the '' coming men." John Quincy Adams, Andrew 
Jackson, Martin Yan Buren, William H. Harrison, John 
Tyler, James K, Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, 
Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln and 
Andrew Johnson have all since that day been elevated to 
the Presidency', and twelve of the sixteen have also de- 
parted this life in the period he has been chronicler of 
public events. 

In the fifty years, the population of our country has ex- 
tended from 9 to 3G millions. The 1,500,000 slaves of 1818 
had increased to 4,000,000 and then, a joyful event not 
anticipated in our day, were all made freemen. 

In 1818, there were only twenty States in the Union. 
Since then Illinois, Alabama, Maine, Missouri, Arkansas, 
Michigan, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Kan- 
sas, Minnesota, Nevada, Nebraska, Oregon, and West 
Virginia, have been admitted ; and the territories of 
Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, 
Washington and Wyoming will soon be presenting their 
claims to become States. But not again will the claim be 
made as heretofore, that no free State shall be admitted 
without a slave State being received as an offset. He well 
recollects that Maine could not be received to the sister- 
hood, without Missouri as an offset. And so the admission 
battle has raged for half a century. 

He might go into the public history of times past, and 
bring up matters relating to the twelve Presidential eleC' 
tions which have been the subject of newspaper record, — 
speak of the party spirit which in 1824 brought forward 



374 RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH. 

four candidates for the Presidency, Adams, Jackson, Craw, 
ford and Clay, Avhich resulted in Adams's election — of the 
contest in 1828, between Adam^ and Jackson, in which the 
latter was elected. But these contests are a njatter of 
national history, and need no repetition here. He has only 
to say, that through the whole series of Presidential 
elections, the Journal has sustained such candidates as 
were esteemed patriots of the soundest political principles 
on tlie side of a righteous government. Such a man was 
Adams in 1824 and '28, and Clay in 1832. In 183G, the 
anti-masonic elements entered into the election. Van Bu- 
ren was the Democratic candidate, and Webster, White and 
Harrison from other parties. New Plarapshire was so de- 
cidedly democratic at that time that no opposing candidate 
was sustained in our State. In 1840, Harrison was elected 
by a large majority over Van Buren. The effort in New 
Hampshire that year gave Harrison about GOOO votes more 
than Van Buren received in 1836, but the latter received 
the vote of the State by a small majority. In 1844, Clay 
was again our candidate. In 1848, Gen. Taylor was elect- 
ed. In 1852, Gen Scott was our candidate. In 1856, 
Fremont was nominated. In 1860 and '64, the lamented 
Lincoln was elected — and in 1868, Gen.. Grant will find his 
election secure. None of these men whom the Journal has 
sustained is it now ashamed to bring up in a review of the 
past. 

The misfortune of the country has been in electing Vice 
Presidents who were not sound in principle. Beware in 
the future. 

While it has ever been the aim in the manageme'nt of the 
paper to make it interesting to readers, care has been taken 
to exclude such matters as njight not be fit for reading in 
any family circle. To preserve this negative quality h^s 
kept out many sensational articles which Avould perhaps, 
have been more popular than beneficial. Though at times 



FIFTY YEARS IN A PRINTING OFFICE. 3^5 

pressed hard with work, it never has been performed in the 
office on Sunday for the lialf-centnry, except on one occa- 
sion, about 1820, when the paper, being- kept open for 
the President's Message, was issued on Sunday morning. 
The strong inducement to employ the leisure of Sunday in 
■writing articles for the paper, led to an early resolution to 
write nothing on that day. This resolution has been so 
strictly observed that he has not written a dozen lines for 
the paper on that day for forty years. This is not stated 
in any pharisaical spirit, for he is conscious of failing in far 
more important matters, but long experience has shown 
that cessation from the usual labors of the week on Sunday 
gives vigor for tlie better performance of duties through 
the week. 

When he entered the office, the yearly Yol. at the head of 
the paper was XXIX. After two or three years he made 
up the paper regularly, and has each year changed with his 
own fingers these characters until they now stand LXXIX. 

And yet with all the responsibilities, constant care, re- 
quisite close application and unceasing labor, the toil has 
been pleasant to him, nor has he ever had a wish to change 
it for any other business. What another decade may bring 
forth is only known to Him who has strewed the writer's 
path Avith matters pleasant to the recollection, and not the 
least among them is the good feeling of a large class of the 
community, many of whom have travelled in his company 
the long term which he this day notes. 

To show time's mutations, we present at the close an 
impression of a fancy rule, as the only thing in our ofijce 
which was in it fifty years ago. 



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